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Marines and Soldiers Returning from Iraq not allowed into Oakland terminal. On September 27th 204 Marines and soldiers who were returning from Iraq were not allowed into the passenger terminal at Oakland International Airport. Instead they had to deplane about 400 yards away from the terminal where the extra baggage trailers were located. This was the last scheduled stop for fuel and food prior to flying to Hawaii where both were based. The trip started in Kuwait on September 26th with a rigorous search of checked and carry on baggage by US Customs. All baggage was x-rayed with a "backscatter" machine AND each bag was completely emptied and hand searched. After being searched, checked bags were marked and immediately placed in a secure container. Carry on bags were then x rayed again to ensure no contraband items were taken on the plane. While waiting for the bus to the airport, all personnel were in quarantined in a fenced area and were not allowed to leave.
Well; one side sees all sorts of Californication of our Soldiers and Marines, while the other thinks it is a bogus WingNut story along the lines of what Soros does on the Left.
Me? I think it is close to the middle. Just a clueless gov'munt bureaucracy that six years into a war still does not know what those silly people dressed in sand-blending clothes do for a living. Just read the Port Manager's excuse laden explanation.
The airport received information that the passengers were not TSA-screened at their originating airport and that weapons were on-board the aircraft. Together with our security partners, the airport made a decision to park this aircraft at a remote location on the tarmac. It is the responsibility of the charter airline that its operation is compliant with TSA screening requirements.Nothing sinister methinks. Just good people doing a difficult job not having a full clue. All done!
An analysis of the incident and prior correspondence between OAK’s Airside Operations and the ground handler determined that the airport did not receive clear communication in advance from the charter airline that was hired by the military.
I am out of town starting tomorrow for a convention. If you have any further inquiries about this incident and the way it was handled, Rosemary Barnes who is part of our Public Affairs team would be happy to speak with you. You may also call Joanne Holloway, the acting manager of the Port’s Community and Customer Relations Department.
Section 6. The Senators and Representatives shall receive a compensation for their services, to be ascertained by law, and paid out of the treasury of the United States. They shall in all cases, except treason, felony and breach of the peace, be privileged from arrest during their attendance at the session of their respective Houses, and in going to and returning from the same; and for any speech or debate in either House, they shall not be questioned in any other place.
I'd like nothing more than Mouth Murtha to get his just due. I give credit to the Federal Judge that is at least prepared to question the limits of Article 1, Section 6 of the constitution. Unfortunately, there is no speach more protected than that of a Congress Critter.
Update via Findlaw
U.S. Supreme Court HUTCHINSON v. PROXMIRE, 443 U.S. 111 (1979) Indeed, the precedents abundantly support the conclusion that a Member may be held liable for republishing defamatory [443 U.S. 111, 128] statements originally made in either House. We perceive no basis for departing from that long-established rule. Mr. Justice Story in his Commentaries, for example, explained that there was no immunity for republication of a speech first delivered in Congress:
- Round three:
WASHINGTON - A federal judge refused Friday to dismiss a defamation case brought by a Marine from Connecticut against Rep. John P. Murtha and ordered the Pennsylvania Democrat to give a sworn deposition in the case.Thus far charges against four Marines involved in the case have been dropped. According to the AP,
Marine Staff Sgt. Frank Wuterich, from Meriden, is suing the 18-term congressman for alleging "cold-blooded murder and war crimes" by unnamed soldiers in connection with the deaths of Iraqi civilians in the town of Haditha
The investigating officer overseeing the Haditha case is expected to recommend soon whether Wuterich should stand trial.U.S. District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer...
...did not set a date for Murtha's testimony but said she would also require him to turn over documents related to his comments.It's beginning to look like Murtha is a cold blooded liar.
"You're writing a very wide road for members of Congress to go to their home districts and say anything they choose about private persons and be able to do so without any liability. Are you sure you want to do that?" Collyer said, adding later, "How far can a congressman go and still be protected?"
Collyer said she was troubled by the idea that lawmakers are immune from lawsuits regardless of what they say to advance their political careers.
No comment from Murtha yet. However, earlier this month,
JEFF GANNON: In May 2006, you said that Marines killed innocent Iraqis citizens in cold blood at Hatitha. A year later, some of them have been exonerated. At some point are you going to apologize to these men?In reality, charges were dropped before any trials even began.
REP. MURTHA: The trial's not over yet.
JEFF GANNON: You've spoken out before. You went on national television and called these men "cold blooded killers."
REP. MURTHA: The trial's not over yet.
And just cause it warms my heart to see my fellow GIs use him as a punching bag...
I'll never get tired of that one.All done!
Navy Cross recipient Sgt. Marco Martinez's new book, Hard Corps: From Gangster to Marine Hero, is about as gritty a book as NYC publishers will allow. The neck-breaking action comes, of course, in the combat scenes and also his portrayal of his former gang life. But you have to love this USMC bootcamp scene wherein Martinez is trying to get around the fact that he has a gang tattoo.
My interrogation would be conducted by a staff sergeant. These men knew gang tattoos like sports fans know jersey numbers. And unlike the gunny back at the MEPS, this man didn't need a reference manual. As soon as I rotated my torso to display my past, the staff sergeant instantly recognized my gang's markings.
"Are you a punk-ass gangster?" the staff sergeant demanded.
"Then why the f--k do you have a gang tattoo, ass?"
"I was stupid, sir. I'm here to change my life, sir."
"Martinez, you better not f--ck up my Corps."
I'd eked through again, but the same could not be said for the guy
right after me.
"What the f--ck is that?" I heard the staff sergeant yell. "Is that a f--cking
swastika? Get the f--k out of my office, you piece of s--t!"
A DI quickly came and escorted anti-Semite swastika boy through the doors where all the other
nonhackers went. It was at about this point that I thought I would pass out from sleep deprivation.
My cell phone rang...
Actually, the area of my cell phone was vibrating just as we were walking into "The Kingdom" (more on that later). I was originally going to ignore the fuzzy buzzing, but as I was just inside the doorway, I looked to see who was calling. I didn't recognize the area code, but there were those last four numbers telling me it was coming through a DoD switching station. We'd become accustomed to those last four numbers when Noah and Our Guys were in Iraq the last time.
At first, there was that pause and fleeting moment of confusion 'cause, of course, Noah's not there, he's here... and just as quickly I knew it was someone calling from The Sandbox. Having had one of those calls once, my heart did a quick uptic in beats as I reversed course back out to the lobby, flipped open the phone and said, "Hello?"
The rest at Some Soldier's Mom
HR 52 via Library of Congress
Sec. 150. (a) Congress makes the following findings:Emphasis mine.
(1) General David H. Petraeus was confirmed by a unanimous vote of 81-0 in the Senate on January 26, 2007, to be the Commander of the Multi-National Forces--Iraq.
(2) General David H. Petraeus assumed command of the Multi-National Forces--Iraq on February 10, 2007.
(3) General David H. Petraeus previously served in Operation Iraqi Freedom as the Commander of the Multi-National Security Transition Command--Iraq, as the Commander of the NATO Training Mission--Iraq, and as Commander of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during the first year of combat operations in Iraq.
(4) General David H. Petraeus has received numerous awards and distinctions during his career, including the Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Distinguished Service Medal, two awards of the Defense Superior Service Medal, four awards of the Legion of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and the Gold Award of the Iraqi Order of the Date Palm.
(5) The leadership of the majority party in both the House of Representatives and the Senate implored the American people and Members of Congress early in January 2007 to listen to the generals on the ground.
My memory must be failing.......if the Leadership of the House and Senate are prepared to give up "Surrender at any Cost" I'm prepared to give up remembering they wanted to "Surrender at any Cost".
If this quote flags your interest:
Two things that were going through my mind were: Uncle Joe never went through this to bring his Luger back from the ETO, and what use was it voting for Republicans all my life if I can’t just mail a gun back from a war zone? Where are we, Canada?
Come read about it over at the Caslte, where our Man in the 'Stan (this rotation) has posted his final missive from the Box.
Reuters reports Saddam Hussein was prepared to take $1 billion and go into exile before the Iraq war, according to a transcript of talks between U.S. President George W. Bush and an ally.
Also during a meeting at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, on February 22, 2003, Bush told former Spanish Prime Minister Jose Maria Aznar that Saddam could also be assassinated.
All this and more comes from a transcript provided by El País the most widely-circulated daily newspaper in Spain, that was was critical of the Iraq war. The transcript has not been authenticated and they have not said how it was obtained.
A spokesman for Aznar's private foundation had no comment on the transcript or its authenticity. El Pais, which was critical of the Iraq war and of Aznar's government, did not say how it obtained the transcript which it said was made by a Spanish diplomat who attended the meeting.
Everyone knows that Saddam took $1 billion from a bank
The assasination of Saddam and all this has been discussed before.
So my real question is this really news?
It seems this prewar memo may get twisted into something much more, but will it backfire?
via Google Toolbar Translation of memo of meeting between Spanish President Alznar and President Bush 24/25 February 2003
PB. For me it would be the perfect solution. I do not want the war. I know what they are the wars. I know the destruction and the death that bring with himself. I am the one that she has to console to the mothers and the widows of deads. By all means, for us that would be the best solution. In addition, it would save 50,000 million to us dollars.
Nothing for folks with Bush Derangement Syndrome to see...
We should note that this week marks an anniversary -
On September 24, 1957, President (and former General) Eisenhower ordered the 101st Airborne to invade a high school in Little Rock, Arkansas, seize all the African-American children, drag them outside and shoot them in the street.
A just-on-time nominee for the Ignorant Media Putz of the Month award.
Never heard of that award? I just invented it.
So, who's this guy's competition? (I actually have one in mind, I'll see if anyone else provides the same name...)
We could have a "congressional" category also, but it would be hard to pick a "winner". I suppose we could have a "Story of the Month" category too...
And with my current Man in the 'Stan about to redeploy, I've got another one primed and ready. Meet Mr. T's Haircut.
Prolly if a military member were to shoot someone of her same race and gender who had looked the wrong way at her boyfriend it would just be murder. However, were she to shoot a foreigner that would be even worse - a hate crime. Through history, military people have killed more foreigners than anyone else in America. Anyhow, the point is, we must stop our military from commiting these hate crimes, then we can all live together in peace and love and harmony.
The leading Democratic White House hopefuls conceded Wednesday night they cannot guarantee to pull all U.S. combat troops from Iraq by the end of the next presidential term in 2013.Truth is a funny thing. Is crow halal?
"I think it's hard to project four years from now," said Sen. Barack Obama of Illinois in the opening moments of a campaign debate in the nation's first primary state.
"It is very difficult to know what we're going to be inheriting," added Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York.
"I cannot make that commitment," said former Sen. John Edwards of North Carolina.
Cross posted at CDR Salamander.
I guess we have all failed to live up to all the Diversity training we take. At least, that is what Sen. Kennedy (D-MA) thinks.
On the Senate floor just a few minutes ago, Kennedy said a hate crimes amendment should be attached to the defense authorization bill because members of the U.S. military commit a significant number of hate crimes.You can figure out the rest. That is how some of our leaders see us.
"This amendment will strengthen the defense authorization act by protecting those who volunteer to serve in the military," Kennedy said. "The vast majority of our soldiers serve with honor and distinction…but sadly, our military bases are not immune from the violence that comes with hatred."
Kennedy listed the recent case of some soldiers ...
Funny thing about that - I don't think you will find a more integrated organization in the USA than the US Military; but I don't have to tell you that as we live it every day and it is something we should be proud of. Too bad our "betters" refuse to see that, though I think in the end the Senator knows that - but he sees the US Military as just a tool for him to use for domestic purposes. That is most likely a more accurate read of Sen. Kennedy's words. Either way though, it is sad.
Sign me up. All I ask is a Letter of Marque and Reprisal, and a star to steer her by.
Commando: On the Front Line is insight into the making of a Royal Marine Commando and, for the first time, follows the recruits onto the front line in Afghanistan.
Here's an opportunity for compare and contrast.
What I find intriguing is that the film-maker, Chris Terrill, didn’t just film these troops, he joined them, undergoing the same gruelling 32 weeks’ training , winning his green beret, before joining them in action. He followed the recruits to the front line in Afghanistan and right into the heat of battle.
While the other recruits wielded guns in Afghanistan, Chris stucked to shooting with his camera. “I was very excited about going to the front line. But the reality of what I was about to face really came home when I had to sit down and write what are called my ‘death letters’.
“These are letters to loved ones only to be read in the event of my being killed. Having to write to people that you love as if you’re dead is not easy and can be extremely upsetting. That’s when it hit me that this was not just another filming adventure.
“When I started going out on patrols it was a bit like being in a feature film. But when the bullets started to fly it suddenly got very, very real – especially when they whizzed past your ears.
Chris talks more about his grueling training here
The training was even more hellish than I expected: high rope climbing; abseiling; speed marching; “yomping”; lung-bursting underwater swimming; soul-destroying assault courses; and close quarter combat lessons that taught us how to tear windpipes out of throats and rip genitals from between men’s legs. This was in addition to increasingly demanding survival exercises in extreme conditions with limited rations and even more limited sleep. It was relentless and unforgiving: most of us were injured – many badly enough to have to leave. Some never came back. I got off lightly with a dislocated finger, a ruptured tendon in my left bicep and a rotator cuff and clavicle so badly inflamed that I have since had to have surgery. The fruit of my efforts and pain? Well, I am proud to say I won my green beret, now my most prized possession, but I would not have done so if I had trained in isolation. I only managed it because I became part of a band of brothers who willed me on, as I did them.
If Hollywoods types would undergo the rigorous training with our American troops or had the fortitude to spend just a small bit of time with them on the frontlines, we wouldn't have such trash in our theaters. But I suspect that would impede on their ugly anti-military, anti-American smear campaign.
Update: Uncle Jimbo has more
Over at the "End of Empire" blog, Adeodatus is thinking about privatizing certain naval roles and missions.
Me? I'm sensing a business opportunity.
By dissing the Marines.
Here's a classy story of personal politics potentially infecting the decisions of public servants - San Francisco Film Commission Executive Director Stefanie Coyote denied a film crew permission to film for a Marine commercial "If there were any military personnel present." Ms. Coyote's rather tart response when questioned initially was "It's a traffic control issue." SF Police Captain Greg Corrales, the former Marine who commands the citiy's Traffic Bureau said, "That's bunk." USA Today has queried her further and will post her response when she does so. I suppose the most charitable logic is that the presence of armed, uniformed Marines, in the form of the USMC Silent Drill Team, would so incite the peaceful residents of San Francisco that they would all roller-blade, bike, and Prius their way to the site to engage in peaceful protest of such savage martial imagery in their city... Heh. H/t, 1SG Keith.
Clinton said she couldn't promise to bring all U.S. troops home in her first term if she is elected president. ``I don't know what I'm going to inherit,'' Clinton said on ABC. ``I don't know and neither do any of us know what will be the situation in the region.''
I would certainly hope the killing stops soon...but it is going to be a long time before the Iraqi Military is in a position to defend its borders. A couple of C-130's and a handful of helicopters and Cessnas isn't exactly an AirForce.
Not work friendly and language runs afoul.
But I love his assesment
And, man bites dog, etc.
I just posted (and bloviated, you're warned) on my email exchange with Dan Froomkin, regarding his piece in the Washington Post, where he jumped on the "milbloggers are sycophants" bandwagon.
I posted this late, because it took Mr. Froomkin some time to answer my email.
Give him credit - he responded!
A "glass is half full guy" won the day and shouted some famous words.
228 years ago.
The words live on.
As set out here.
And as for Columbia University's position that you don't have to like the message to entertain the messenger? On that premise, you would have also welcomed Hitler, Mussolini, Stalin, Saddam, Pol Pot... executioners of millions who did not even have the right to attend school...
Isn't it rich?
Isn't it queer?
And where are the clowns?
There ought to be clowns....
Search-and-rescue crews have found a hiker who has been missing since last weekend.
Whatcom and Skagit County deputies are aiding rangers from the National Park Service in the search, Shilling said.
When facts on the ground change...sometimes the entire article needs to be rewritten in light of new facts.
via Seattle Times
A Tacoma man who falsely claimed he was a decorated war hero when he took the stage at demonstrations held in opposition to the U.S.'s role in Iraq was sentenced this morning to five months in prison in U.S. District Court in Seattle.
Conservative bloggers exposed MacBeth in May 2006, destroying his credibility and embarrassing the Seattle company that produced the video about his exploits.
On June 7, MacBeth pleaded guilty to one count of making false statements to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. MacBeth admitted that he filed a bogus claim for VA benefits in 2005, which included a fraudulent military-discharge form.
MacBeth spent 44 days as a private at Fort Benning, Ga., in 2003, but was released "for issues related to entry-level performance and conduct," according to court papers.
So much for another 'Hero' of the left.
Via Rusty Shackleford:
Widow of Luke pilot lashes out at mediaRusty says:
Days after an al-Qaida-linked group released a video showing the body of a Luke Air Force Base fighter pilot killed in Iraq last year, his widow lashed out at the national media, accusing it of politicizing and using the images to erode public support for the war.
Ginger Gilbert, making her first public comments since the video emerged last week, said Tuesday that she couldn't remain silent after watching media coverage of a "disturbing video" of the corpse, identification card and crash site of her husband, Maj. Troy Gilbert.
"When media chooses to use Troy's plane crash as a political catalyst to generate anti-war sentiment, it only serves to degrade the moral integrity my husband possessed and the morale of those still selflessly serving," Gilbert said at news conference at Glendale's Falcon Dunes Golf Course, across from Luke.
"Every time the press lends credibility and significance to terrorist propaganda clearly designed to erode public support or questions the validity of our brave soldiers' selfless acts of service and the war itself," she added, "it only serves to damage our country from within its own borders and embolden those who would do us harm."
The general theme of the video is that the reason Troy Gilbert and other Americans are dead is because of Bush's "deceit". "Why was Gilbert killed?", a masked man on the video asks, "And the reason is Bush!".Additional thoughts on this later, time permitting, but for now, ladies and gentlemen, al Qaeda's "Working Paper for a Media Invasion of America" was first exposed here. Followup reports are here and here.
(Tell your friends.)
NATIONAL POW/MIA RECOGNITION DAY, 2007
- - - - - - -
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
America has been blessed by the brave men and women of our Armed Forces who have answered the call to defend our country and protect liberty around the world. On National POW/MIA Recognition Day, we honor a special group of patriots: those who have been prisoners of war and those who are still missing in action. We remain forever in their debt, and we renew our commitment to them and to their families never to rest until we have accounted for every missing service member.
To commemorate this day, the National League of Families POW/MIA flag is flown over the White House, the Capitol, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, the Korean War Veterans Memorial, the World War II Memorial, and other locations across our country. This flag is an enduring symbol that reflects our solemn commitment to our courageous service members who have been imprisoned while serving in conflicts around the world and to those who remain missing. America will always remember these heroes, and we underscore our pledge to achieve the fullest possible accounting for every missing member of our Armed Forces.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim Friday, September 21, 2007, as National POW/MIA Recognition Day. I call upon the people of the United States to join me in honoring and remembering all former American prisoners of war and those missing in action who valiantly served our great country. I also call upon Federal, State, and local government officials and private organizations to observe this day with appropriate ceremonies and activities.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand seven, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-second.
Just one more case of the hypocrisy of the left...
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - Yale Law School will end its policy of not working with military recruiters following a court ruling this week that jeopardized about $300 million in federal funding, school officials said Wednesday.
Yale and other universities had objected to the Pentagon's "don't ask, don't tell" policy that allows gay men and women to serve in the military only if they keep their sexual orientation to themselves. Yale Law School had refused to assist military recruiters because the Pentagon wouldn't sign a nondiscrimination pledge.
The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against Yale on Monday, rejecting its argument that its right to academic freedom was infringed by federal law that says universities must give the military the same access as other job recruiters or forfeit federal money.
and then this
"The fact is we have been forced under enormous pressure to acquiescence in a policy that we believe is deeply offensive and harmful to our students," said Robert Burt, a Yale law professor who was lead plaintiff in the case.
But you'll take the money?
The whole thing HERE
Two weeks ago an Israeli airstrike on Syria that destroyed nuclear material acquired from North Korea were first reported. Now the likelihood of this story has grown substantially with more details of the strike becoming known:
IT was just after midnight when the 69th Squadron of Israeli F15Is crossed the Syrian coast-line. On the ground, Syria’s formidable air defences went dead. An audacious raid on a Syrian target 50 miles from the Iraqi border was under way.
At a rendezvous point on the ground, a Shaldag air force commando team was waiting to direct their laser beams at the target for the approaching jets. The team had arrived a day earlier, taking up position near a large underground depot. Soon the bunkers were in flames.
Ten days after the jets reached home, their mission was the focus of intense speculation this weekend amid claims that Israel believed it had destroyed a cache of nuclear materials from North Korea.
You have to read this entire article because it offers fascinating details about the Israeli strike and the Syrian acquisition of North Korean nuclear technology. The article claims the strike happened 50 miles up the Euphrates River from Iraq. On my site I posted some Google Earth images of some possible areas for the facility that was struck. It is not just Syria that the North Koreans have been aiding with their nuclear program. In July the first reports came out of North Korean engineers constructing tunnel complexes for Iran's nuclear program. Anyone that has served in Korea can tell you the North Koreans are master engineers of tunnels with the multiple tunnels that have been discovered underneath the DMZ. I have Google Earthed the North Korean tunnel complex in Iran as well.
Here is some more interesting information from the Times of London report:
An expert on the Middle East, who has spoken to Israeli participants in the raid, told yesterday’s Washington Post that the timing of the raid on September 6 appeared to be linked to the arrival three days earlier of a ship carrying North Korean material labelled as cement but suspected of concealing nuclear equipment.
Why do I find this information so interesting you ask? Well because back in August look what South Korea sent to North Korea:
"North Korea is having difficulties recovering from the floods because of the shortage of construction equipment and materials," he said at a briefing.
Ministers had decided to send cement, iron bars, trucks, fuel and road restoration equipment to North Korea at the earliest possible time, he said.
On Thursday, South Korea delivered its first consignment of emergency relief aid to its northern neighbour.
North Korea so desperately needs cement for reconstruction from the floods yet they send a ship loaded with concrete to Syria? Was the cement sent to North Korea in August by South Korea the same cement popping up in Syria in September? Also was this cement intended to make the same type of tunnels and bunker systems that the North Koreans have been making for the Iranians? Another interesting fact to keep in mind that this is not the first time that North Korea has used a boat filled with cement to cover up their illicit arms deals.
I maintained last month that the North Koreans were playing up the flood damage for increased aid for a reason and now we may have found what that reason is. Something else to ponder is if that boat loaded with cement disguising North Korean nuclear materials was in fact South Korean cement does that make Seoul complicit in nuclear proliferation? This is the result that unconditional and unmonitored aid to North Korea has resulted in for the South Korean government, being possible accomplices to nuclear proliferation.
So what have international governments had to say about this? Well North Korea has of course denied it, South Korea is making excuses, Syria has denied it, and Israel until recently has kept very quiet. This is what we know from the US government so far. The State Department admits North Koreans are in fact operating in Syria and possibly aiding them with their nuclear program:
Andrew Semmel, a senior US State Department official, said Syria might have obtained nuclear equipment from “secret suppliers”, and added that there were a “number of foreign technicians” in the country.
Asked if they could be North Korean, he replied: “There are North Korean people there. There’s no question about that.” He said a network run by AQ Khan, the disgraced creator of Pakistan’s nuclear weapons, could be involved.
This is a huge admission considering the State Department tends to not want to offend anyone in the name of diplomacy. The audacity of the Syrians and the North Koreans to pull off such a proliferation stunt just goes to show that these two countries think that President Bush is so politically weak that he would take no action against them if found out.
It appears they are right:
US President George W. Bush said today he expects North Korea to give up its nuclear weapons program and not allow other countries to gain its know-how on producing such technology and weapons.
"We expect them to honour their commitment to give up weapons and weapons programs," Mr Bush said. "To extent that they are proliferating, we expect them to stop their proliferation."
Mr Bush’s comments came after he declined to answer questions about reports from the US intelligence community of concerns that North Korea may have helped Syria with nuclear activities.
North Korea said on Wednesday that such allegations were groundless conspiracy fabricated by those who oppose the North’s improving ties with Washington.
President Bush admits that the North Koreans are proliferating without going into specifics and just simply demands that they stop. Sure that will deter them. It appears that the Syrians and North Koreans calculated correctly that the world community and the United States would not respond in any meaningful way even if they were caught proliferating nuclear technology. The world community simply does not care because after all a nuclear Iran or Syria would only be used to threaten Israel which many in the world community would not mind. Any wonder why Israel simply decided to bomb them instead of getting the world community to do something about the Syrians and North Koreans?
The United States is now to invested in keeping the appearance that the diplomatic process has been successful on the Korean peninsula before confronting Iran on their nuclear program. The US government's desperation to perpetuate the "Myth of Progress" on the Korean peninsula is truly astounding. I really hope the "Six Party Charade", the sell out of a sound North Korea policy, and the ignoring of the possible proliferation of WMD to Syria is worth the setting of conditions to bomb Iran.All done!
Purpose: To express the sense of the Senate that General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, deserves the full support of the Senate and strongly condemn personal attacks on the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all members of the United States Armed Forces. (full text after the jump)
Not Voting - 3
And the esteemed Sen. Kerry, today talking about the Reid/Levin Amendment that would require the near-immediate
surrender withdrawal of troops from Iraq, said that the current situation in Iraq was "like playing baseball without a bat"... well, John... better than playing without balls... [apologies to those easily offended].
x-posted at Some Soldier's Mom
SEC. 1070. SENSE OF SENATE ON GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS.
(a) Findings.–The Senate makes the following findings:
(1) The Senate unanimously confirmed General David H. Petraeus as Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq, by a vote of 81-0 on January 26, 2007.
(2) General Petraeus graduated first in his class at the United States Army Command and General Staff College.
(3) General Petraeus earned Masters of Public Administration and Doctoral degrees in international relations from Princeton University.
(4) General Petraeus has served multiple combat tours in Iraq, including command of the 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault) during combat operations throughout the first year of Operation Iraqi Freedom, which tours included both major combat operations and subsequent stability and support operations.
(5) General Petraeus supervised the development and crafting of the United States Army and Marine Corps counterinsurgency manual based in large measure on his combat experience in Iraq, scholarly study, and other professional experiences.
(6) General Petraeus has taken a solemn oath to protect and defend the Constitution of the United States of America.
(7) During his 35-year career, General Petraeus has amassed a distinguished and unvarnished record of military service to the United States as recognized by his receipt of a Defense Distinguished Service Medal, two Distinguished Service Medals, two Defense Superior Service Medals, four Legions of Merit, the Bronze Star Medal for valor, the State Department Superior Honor Award, the NATO Meritorious Service Medal, and other awards and medals.
(8) A recent attack through a full-page advertisement in the New York Times by the liberal activist group, Moveon.org, impugns the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces.
(b) Sense of Senate.–It is the sense of the Senate–
(1) to reaffirm its support for all the men and women of the United States Armed Forces, including General David H. Petraeus, Commanding General, Multi-National Force-Iraq;
(2) to strongly condemn any effort to attack the honor and integrity of General Petraeus and all the members of the United States Armed Forces; and
(3) to specifically repudiate the unwarranted personal attack on General Petraeus by the liberal activist group Moveon.org.All done!
Under the combat scenario that CBO considered, the United States would maintain a long-term presence of approximately 55,000 military personnel in Iraq, deploying military units and their associated personnel there for specific periods and then returning them to their permanent bases either in the United States or overseas. The scenario also incorporates the assumption that units deployed to Iraq would operate at the same pace and conduct the same types of missions as the forces currently deployed there. In CBO’s estimation, this scenario could have one-time costs of $4 billion to $8 billion and annual costs of approximately $25 billion.(emphasis mine)
Similarly, the two illustrative scenarios that CBO developed each include the equivalent of four heavy brigade combat teams (HBCTs), a division headquarters, six tactical fighter squadrons, 10,000 trainers (to support the continued development of the Iraqi army and police forces), and associated support units—for a total of about 55,000 personnel.
So far so good but.....
Personnel costs for combat operations are higher because they reflect the expense involved in mobilizing reservists—outlays that are unnecessary in a noncombat environment.
Someone coorect me if I'm wrong...at the beginning of OIF the Active US Army was 33 Combat Brigades and the Active Marine Corp was 8 Regimental Combat Teams. We currently have 38 Active Army Brigades growing to 43 Active Army Brigades with the Marine Corp growing to 9 RCT's.
With 52 Active Army/Marine Corp Brigades what we would be doing sending Reservists to Iraq if the Active rotation into Iraq was once in 13 years?All done!
The Senate voted Thursday to condemn an advertisement by the liberal anti-war group MoveOn.org that accused the top military commander in Iraq of betrayal.
The 72-25 vote condemned the full-page ad that appeared in The New York Times last week as Gen. David Petraeus, the top military commander in Iraq, testified on Capitol Hill. The ad was headlined: "General Petraeus or General Betray Us? Cooking the books for the White House."
Voting against it were Democratic presidential hopefuls Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton of New York and Christopher Dodd of Connecticut.
A sad day in the cesspool of MoveOn
The Senate blocked legislation Thursday that would have cut off money for combat in Iraq by June. It was a predictable defeat for Democrats struggling to pass less divisive anti-war measures.
The 28-70 vote was 32 short of the 60 needed to cut off a GOP filibuster. The legislation, sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and Sen. Russ Feingold, was indicative of the Democratic leadership's new hardline strategy.
I would note it was 23 short of simple passage. I guess all those anti-war protestors really influenced the Senate.
A Fireman is one of the 400 richest Americans.
I'm in the wrong line of work...
"The nation that will insist on drawing a broad line of demarcation between the fighting man and the thinking man is liable to find its fighting done by fools and its thinking done by cowards."
Hmmmm... can we find room on the masthead for that, Mrs G?
And I believe Will was in error, the credit goes to Butler. (I think I'll order that book, Chap...)
hmmm... I don't recall seeing anything on the nightly news... not even a hint that someone was "investigating the claim"...
Proof of cooperation between Iran and Syria in the proliferation and development of weapons of mass destruction was brought to light Monday in Jane's Defence Weekly, which reported that dozens of Iranian engineers and 15 Syrian officers were killed in a July 23 accident in Syria.
From the Jerusalem Post Not having a current subscription to JDW I can' tll you what the rest of the article might say... perhaps someone else can add on?
And anyone still interested in negotiating with this nut case?
Slate's "Explainer" David Sessions, answers your question about the news. Today he set out to debunk John McCain:
Yesterday, John McCain told supporters in Iowa that U.S. soldiers are "carrying 40 pounds of body armor in 130-degree temperatures."For reasons unknown, it's important to him to prove McCain is wrong about that temperature claim. He cites climate records from the US Air Force...
...the highest temperature ever recorded in Asia is 124 degrees—in Dhahran, Saudi Arabia. So, how hot does it really get in Iraq?That's right - but Sessions is wrong.
The temperature never breaks 130 degrees, according to official climate records. A 2007 Air Force Weather Agency report on Iraq's summer weather also marks the record at 124 degrees, with mean highs for July and August at 110 degrees. And Iraq is always dry, so the heat index won't be much higher than the actual temperature.
Jeff Emmanuel waves a BS flag, arguing (as near as I can tell) that
a. Humidity is sufficient to cause a heat index higher than the temperature
"A soldier in 40-50 lbs of armor AND ammo AND long sleeves and pants AND helmet AND gloves AND knee pads AND boots who is carrying a rifle AND carrying 10 lbs of water IS "a solid object." Furthermore, said soldier DOES operate on "heat-conducting surfaces like sand, concrete, or asphalt," NOT "in a ventilated location" -- oh, and is either standing or moving while doing so, as well."which, like the climatological data, is also right. But in fairness, McCain didn't say the weight of the armor makes it seem like the temperature is 130 degrees, he said it was 130 before the armor went on. Likewise, he wasn't talking about a "heat index".
The effective temperature to a soldier here is much more like 145-150 degrees during the peak of summer -- not 130 or 124.
There's also a discussion of cheap thermometers poorly placed, yadda yadda yadda. Disregard that for now, while I provide the actual solution, and make left and right happy in this instance and we can all go forward and live together as one, in harmony. It's a simple explanation, trust me on this one...
Official temperature is taken IN THE SHADE, using very damned expensive equipment. Official temperatures for Baghdad (taken by US Air Force meteorologists at the Airport in the shade) in late July and early August peak in the late afternoon between 115-120 EVERY DAY - IN THE SHADE. The record temperature in the shade is indeed 124 degrees. Now that September is here it's a bit more variable, highs ranging from as low as 102 to about 108 over the past week or two. In the early morning hours we shiver as the temperatures plunge into the upper 70s.
Did I mention the shade part? Out in the desert or the middle of a city in the direct sunlight in July? Or in the back of a closed vehicle or an aircraft? There it's really hot, and 130 on a cool day, maybe.
But here's what I call hot: when you step out of a porta potty after a 5 minute visit into the direct sunlight of a July afternoon in Iraq and think "gosh it's nice and cool out here" - then you know that inside that porta potty was the HOTTEST EFFING PLACE ON THE SURFACE OF THE EARTH.
Anyhow, in case I wasn't clear, Jeff is right in saying Slate's "Explainer" is wrong - but now you know the rest of the story.
Like I said, trust me on this one. (Stupid people will argue, folks who know me will laugh...)
A final thought: 120 degrees is HOT. Wear armor and run a few miles in it and we can talk about hot. In fact, 110 is HOT. Hell, three days of temperatures around 100 in any city in America will kill a certain percentage of the popultion. Still, if anyone can explain why it's so important to prove that soldiers aren't really experiencing anything hotter than 120, be my guest. Maybe that's a question best left to the Explainer.
And another update:
UPDATE: As much as I hate adding to something after claiming "a final thought" - it just occured to me that maybe, just maybe, this is a lesson in why one shouldn't attempt to draw conclusions from studies of Iraq done in America based purely on statistics...
This is ALMOST enough to make me a Nebraska fan .... almost.
Tyrone Fahie (pronounced FOY) joined the Nebraska program this winter after six years on active duty with the U.S. Military. In the last three years, Fahie has completed two tours in Iraq, where he worked for Seal Team One as a support communicator. Fahie earned a spot on the roster through the Huskers’ walk-on tryouts before spring practice.When does he get his MSM interview?
Fahie will be a redshirt freshman for the Huskers this fall and will line up at defensive end, where he is listed as a reserve at base end. Fahie capped a solid spring practice by making three tackles in the Red-White contest.
That excellent quote reminds me of a less pithy but no less evocative paragraph in COL Matthew Bogdanos' excellent book. But the quote might not have been from Thucydides.
Because I typed in a long quote, I've put the answer here.
Spartan king quoted by Thucydides: "The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools."
One would think history gets taught at Columbia...but then one could think wrong.
So, you get accepted to the Severn School for Wayward Boys & Girls. You come from a smart, successful family. You hope for their understanding and support. Oops.
Soon that pride turned to anger and fear: after my mom dropped him off at Annapolis, she came home with an acute sense of grief. The only thing she could talk about was how to get him out. In addition to missing his presence at home, she was scared by the extent to which her son had suddenly become the property of the U.S. Navy. ... he had signed that oath after he had been yelled at all day and that his hair had just been shaven off during his first day there, (a LT at Annapolis) comforted me (when i complained) that John was not at all forced to sign the oath....and water is wet.
The reality of sending my brother to the Naval Academy began to set in: this was not a school; this was the military. ... let it be known: the U.S. Naval Academy is not an elite college; it is first and foremost a branch of the U.S. military ...
After all that, the MIDN is still at Annapolis. Bravo Zulu to him - I think he will do just fine - Parents Day should be a hoot though....
Congress should look at cutting off funding for the Iraq war if Senate efforts to change the role of U.S. troops in the battlefield fail, Sen. Ken Salazar said today. <...> While in Iraq over the weekend, Salazar said, some servicemen and women told him that they wanted Congress to cut off funding.That might be true. Likewise, if he asked around enough, he'd probably discover "some servicemen and women " who would like to have sex with him in a public toilet. That doesn't make it a good idea.
Badger Six of Badgers Forward is extending his stay in Iraq by ten months. His unit is going home, he's moving on to a new assignment in theater. I think he'll find things to write about.
For months now he and Teflon Don at Acute Politics have been telling us of progress in Ramadi. It's been awesome, and I think Michael Tottens' recent posts (The Battle of Ramadi and Hell is Over) make a nice compliment to their efforts as their part in the story concludes, and stand as a tribute to the men and women from America and Iraq that made this happen. Even if you haven't participated in these events, you'll find a few things that will make you damn proud to be an American.
And guess what? - That's okay.
Meanwhile, the battle rages in the belts, and Baghdad boils. If I didn't know about what's happened in Anbar - and I wouldn't without my fellow milbloggers - I might think it wasn't worth fighting.
(part one here - but this episode is a stand-alone, so feel free to jump right on in...)
Another Sunday Morning Coming Down
Well, I woke up Sunday morning
With no way to hold my head that didn't hurt.
And the beer I had for breakfast wasn't bad,
So I had one more for dessert.
Then I fumbled in my closet through my clothes
And found my cleanest dirty shirt.
Then I washed my face and combed my hair
And stumbled down the stairs to meet the day.
-- Johnny Cash, Sunday Morning Coming Down
My Sunday morning wasn't like that. I did get up and have breakfast - but I passed on the NA beer. Afterwards I wandered over to the barbershop and pulled my number (68). I already knew about how long that wait would be - the day before I had tried and failed.
On that previous attempt I'd pulled my number then wandered around the area for a bit. I realized I had no cash in my pocket so I hit the px. Picked up something small so I could get cash back at the checkout. The line wrapped around two walls of the store - I figured I was going to miss my chance for a haircut, but since I couldn't get one without the cash I waited and made it through the line. Fortunately, the "No Cash Back at this time" sign wasn't on display at the register (it usually is) so I scored a 20 - the max.
Then I wandered back to the barber shop. They were nowhere near my number, so I wandered over to the Internet cafe. The computers were all full, and the waiting list was 12 people long. So I wandered on back over to the barbershop. It had been an hour since I pulled my number (68) and they were up to number 48. But my time was up.
But anyhow - back to Sunday. Sunday mornings for me are slow - I can sleep in til about 8 then take my time getting things done, laundry, room cleaning, etc. I got up and went to breakfast. Afterwards I wandered over to the barbershop and pulled my number (78). I knew I had at least an hour before I needed to come back for a progress check, so I headed for the showers. They were closed for cleaning. So I modified my strategy on the fly, wandered back to the hooch (we only had to stay in tents for the first 4 months here) and picked up my laundry, took it to the KBR laundry facility, filled out the paperwork, and headed back to the barbershop.
Those actions described now brought my cumulative walking distance to about 2 miles of foot travel on four inches of gravel (try it sometime!), and the sun was edging higher in the sky. One hour after pulling my number I asked some of the guys in the cluster waiting outside the door what number they were up to. "70" was the reply. I had 78 - almost there. And you won't believe it but the day got even better - there was a chair available in the waiting area. Another half hour and I was in the actual barber chair. Five minutes later my hair was cut.
You're probably thinking to yourself, "wow - that's more good fortune than any GI could have in Iraq in one day" - and you're right.
Went back to the hooch, grabbed my stuff, and headed for the showers. The cleaning crew was done, the faucets were shining, and in I went. I turned the water on and nothing came out of the spigot. No water, so no shower today - but I did have a spiffy new hair cut. To finish the full squared-away look I'm required to cultivate by regulation and years of habit I pulled my triple bladed razor from my shaving kit and ran it across my face and neck - sans water and shaving cream and lubricated only by a thin layer of rapidly-drying sweat. Back to my hooch to put my uniform on (up til now I'd been wandering around in PT gear with a shoulder-holstered 9, a look that is common only here) and then I took the mile walk to work. By the time I got there I was sweating enough that I could convince myself the effects of the shower would have worn off by then anyway.
So anyhow, along the way, for some reason, I started whistling "Sunday Morning Coming Down."
Got an email picture of my wife with another guy today.
It was President Bush.
I said as much to Bill Roggio. "How can you be jealous?" He replied. "He's got the most thankless job in the world."
"He had his picture taken with my wife" I replied.
But the President and I both got to chat with Bill over the weekend.
GIs bitch (See above). It's the nature of the job. When you actually do have one of the most thankless tasks in the world you get the right to do that. Give one a chance and he'll (or she'll) tell you everything that's wrong with their world, their rater, their commander, their first sergeant, the General, their branch of service, their deployed location, their home station, Iraq, Afghanistan, America, congress, the President, war, peace, food, and their favorite football team's current strategy. (Regardless of current won-loss record.)
So last time I crossed paths with the re-enlistment NCO I recognized him as someone who would have insight as to how much that matters.
"How's business?" I asked. "Good", he replied.
"No problems?" I prodded.
"Well, yeah. I've got to convince people to wait and reenlist next month instead of this one. I've already met my goal for this fiscal year."
A lot of people think it's the cash bonuses, but really it's the free food and cheap haircuts, I'm sure.
Enlistments are looking good too. Small wonder the IVAW crowd is planning an attack.
So yeah, President Bush and I have something else in common - we both chatted with Bill Roggio over the weekend. I picked up Bill from MND-C headquarters and took him off for a GI tour of Camp Victory.
Fortunately, this didn't happen to us:
Coalition Forces attacked at Camp VictoryIndirect fire means rockets or mortars, by the way.
Multi-National Corps – Iraq PAO
BAGHDAD – One third-country national was killed and eleven Coalition Forces members were wounded Sept. 12 in an indirect fire attack on Camp Victory.
The incident is under investigation.
Anyhow, I showed him the BIG PX with all the obscene amenities, then the Iraqi Bazaar with the memorial to the Iraqis who worked there who've been killed. After that, lunch at the DFAC - we both had the made-to-order stir fry with everything. Then to the DVD store - Bill bought 300. Not 300 DVDs, the movie 300. I got 3:10 to Yuma (meh). Guess we were all about the threes. Afterwards I drove him "home" - he had a flight to catch to elsewhere for a day or two.
He's a good guy. Can't wait to have a beer with him some time down the road.
Don't know what might come of it, but I will tell you he set off looking into this story that everyone else has missed:
Major General Lynch: Just over two weeks ago, soldiers from our 3rd Brigade Combat Team conducted a raid on a militant house in the town of Nahrawan, which is about 20 miles east of Baghdad on the east side of the Tigris River. They arrested one of our division's most valued targets, high-value targets, and he acted as a link between Iran and the Jaish al- Mahdi militia. He was the main Shi'a conduit in that region for getting Iranian EFPs and rockets into Baghdad, and his capture was a big blow to that network.Of course, had all 46 of those rockets gone off, you'd have damn well heard about it. But they didn't, so no win for the bad guys, no news in the papers, and no one but Bill tracking the story down.
When we found him, we also discovered an insurgent video they were making that showed 46 Iranian rockets lined up to be fired at one of our U.S. forward operating bases. In fact, some of those rockets shown in the video actually fired and hit some of our bases on the 11th of July, killed one of my soldiers and wounded 15 others.
And this -- as I talked about the attack on FOB Hammer, there were 46 Iranian rockets lined up with Iranian timers to kill my soldiers out on FOB Hammer. And luckily, a great UAV operator was flying his UAV around, he saw those Iranian rockets, he turned to his leaders and said, "Hey, I think we got this problem." A leader sent ground forces out there, and bigger than Dallas, there's the rockets, and we were able to disconnect those rockets before they fired.
We're also bolstering the government of Iraq's efforts along the Iranian border. My soldiers are working with the Iraqi border security force, training them and helping them. There is one point of entry into Iraq from the Wasat province -- into the Wasat province, and Iraqi border forces check trucks making that crossing. In the near future, 2,000 Republic of Georgia soldiers will secure six checkpoints, allowing us to thoroughly inspect every truck crossing along the main westbound route towards Baghdad. So every truck that comes into the Wasat province, from Iran into Iraq, will be stopped and searched in total by these great soldiers from Georgia.
Want some understanding of President Bush's references to his father's service in WWII and our current warm relationship with Japan? Read Flyboys by Flags of Our Fathers author James Bradley. The parallels with today's war are obvious.
I only mention that because it's a topic that came up at the milbloggers' meeting with President Bush, last week, and it seems to be one that a lot of the ultra-Leftists are obsessed with.
I'm pretty damn proud of the lady who's very quietly done more work than anyone in history to bring the voices of deployed troops to the people they serve. (And very quietly done a lot for the wounded troops, too.)
And I thought this was a good quote from the President (bold emphasis added) - thanks, Mrs G!:
I really did not have a question for the President anyway but wanted to comment that reading hundreds of milblogs every morning, that the troops are stating the same things that General Petraeus conveyed during his report and that I found it appalling how he was treated by congress and how he was accused of "cooking the books". That the troops see the progress and the reduction in violence in most areas and General Petraeus passed on their thoughts honestly. The president was adamant when he said, "I will do everything in my power to support the troops and their families” and I believe he means it.There's a lot more impugning of integrity going on in the aftermath of that. And it's not directed at Generals.
He did express that he was very upset with the Move-On.org ad. If anyone should be attacked, it should be him, it is his policy, Petraeus was only giving the report they asked for. When he became President he knew what he was getting into, "I don't mind people attacking me . . . that's politics . . . but I do mind people impugning the integrity of our generals." He also said that he did not want to bash the media, that is when I said “that's what we were here for, to correct them when they have facts wrong and keep them in line”, my only line in the meeting. Not really the one I wanted to leave with, but oh well.
I guess that's what you earn when you wh*re-blog for a corrupt regime.That would be a comment at the Washington Post, by someone called phoebes1, inspired by someone named Dan Froomkin...
Hope it was worth it, Ms Greyhawk. People are dying and getting maimed in part because of your work.
The Mrs couldn't stick around DC to watch the anti-war protests last weekend - she had to leave right after the meeting to make it home in time to help with the unit fund raiser. Via email:
Did get back very late, constant flight delays that caused missing other flights, wound up sitting on a plane for 3 hours on the tarmac. Was not pleasant. I also got to be one of the lucky random people pulled aside for a thorough body pat and baggage search. My 5'1 and 3/4" frame must have looked ominous to them ;-)I'm not certain, but I expect the funds raised will go towards the Christmas Party. Since most of their husbands will be in Iraq it shouldn't cost too much this year.
Got home at 2:45am then got up at 4:30am to help out with unit fund raiser, which was successful. Haven't got total $ made yet, but I think we did well.
Speaking of thankless jobs, Bill...
Over at a blog called Sadly No, they really don't like you: "Bill Roggio at The Long Pig War Journal…well, let’s let Big Boy Jammies report it" - which they didn't.
At the Washington Post, Dan Froomkin really, really didn't like anyone...
Bush didn't have to go out of his way on Friday to endear himself to his guests, who had been screened for sycophancy.But then, he can't even avoid counting the total number of hours the President has spent in Iraq and then making fun of the bases where he spent them..
And as their ensuing blog posts make clear, they lapped up even his most timeworn talking points and hoariest stories.
During his most recent trip, two weeks ago, Bush was on the ground for seven hours, never leaving the confines of a military base known as Camp Cupcake, a heavily fortified American outpost for 10,000 troops with a 13-mile perimeter.Actually that was al Asad Airbase in Anbar - good to know that one is so safe they call it Cupcake. Can't wait 'til my post is that sweet.
Froomkin inspired a host of Post readers (like the lovely and witty phoebes1) to go off the deep end - the editors, publisher, and fellow "journalists" must be proud.
If you want to really plumb the depths of the Toilets on the Left-Wing Information Sewer, try the comments at Think Progress.
At least the Columbia Journalism Review liked the Bills.
Now, bloggers aren’t New York Times reporters...Actually, none of the bloggers were carried away by the atmospherics - they simply noted said atmospherics as part of a full report. But those who would feed the ignorati simply chose not to cut and paste anything beyond that from the meeting. If any of them were to examine the actual questions those bloggers had for President Bush, they'd notice a theme...
In case we needed a reminder, this is why the blogworld is not yet a viable substitute for actual journalism.
It should be noted that Bill Roggio and Bill Ardolino, two bloggers who joined by teleconference from Iraq, are conspicuous for the substantive reports they delivered of the meeting, and seem to be the only attendees who weren’t carried away by the atmospherics of the event.
“…With the current blurring of the lines between domestic politics and foreign policy, and the unwillingness of the American people to fight the current war, how do you get the American public to support the current and future conflicts?”In short, what matters to milbloggers is public support to the war they completely understand, and in which they are very much involved.
"Mr. President - you talk about and clearly believe in the "Long War" and that it's the President's job to see "over the horizon" and beyond the next Gallup Poll. How are you going to set the conditions so that your successor will continue the fight - regardless of who wins the election?"
"after watching the original 9-11 "Today Show" broadcast in real time and that the experience had left him, wondering whether his petition to the nation had been strong enough in terms of calling citizens to duty?
I can’t remember exactly what I asked the President because I was choking up having just mentioned my good friend SSG Stevon Booker who died in front of me in Iraq.The WaPo readers got a good chuckle out of that quote. But if you are far, far, removed from the reality of the war on terror - say, if you're a "columnist" or "blogger" interested only in the political gain you can get from a war (for instance, you use "conservative blogger" as interchangeable with "milblogger" in your report of a White House visit by an Iraq vet, the wife of a guy currently serving in Iraq, a citizen of Baghdad, four other veterans and one American civilian) you're not going to notice that these are people who are in the war. If you do notice that inconvenient truth, you'll recognize it as a distraction from your witty ad-hominems and avoid it like the plague. (Though the phoebes1's might not appreciate learning they'd been tricked into insulting spouses of deployed troops just so you could get your jollies.) Think it through a little farther and you might even come to realize that maybe, just maybe, a message was being sent regarding exactly where military people think someone could be doing a better job.
But since "have them read a few of the hundreds of milblogs that have been written from front-line troops in the war on terror" is one possible answer, you damn sure don't want that message to get out.
It would scare you shitless.
On Thursday, David Axe, Andrew Lubin, Dave Dilegge and I were able to speak with Dr. Ai Mehdi Jawad Aldabbagh, spokesperson for the Iraqi Government. Don't ask, I'm not sure what I was doing there either...
News of the Sheik's assassination began to spread while we were on the phone with Dr. Aldabbagh, and Andrew was able to get a fairly fresh reaction from Dr. Aldabbagh.
You can download the audio of the conversation here.
The sudden passing last week of Rep. Paul Gillmor (R-Ohio) brings the tally of congressional deaths this year to four, an unusually high number. <...> Just nine months into the new Congress, the four deaths surpass the number of the last two Congresses combined.And at nearly 1/100, a much higher death rate than US troops experience in Iraq. Bring them home NOW! (Please?)
Shocka at Columbia!
A senior undergrad student in Political Science whose brother attends the Naval Academy realized with dismay that, all of these federally funded military academies?
They're somehow all tied up with the military!
From the Army Times:
Presidential duty has openings for soldiers
By Gina Cavallaro - Staff writer
Posted : Sunday Sep 16, 2007 9:29:52 EDT
How would you like to be the soldier who dials the phone when the commander in chief wants to talk to the president of Russia?
You may or may not qualify for that specific job, but the odds that you can work for the team that helps keep the White House operating are better than you might expect.
Hundreds of soldiers in more than 30 military occupational specialties are assigned to presidential duties, and there are openings.
The leaders of the White House Communications Agency are looking for the right active-duty enlisted soldiers to work with them in assignments that include the White House, Air Force One, Camp David and others.
The unusual four-year assignment is sure to be memorable.
“It’s a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. Wherever the president goes, we go. We’re never seen, but we’re always there behind the scenes,” said Sgt. 1st Class Elizabeth Gaut, a human resources specialist who has worked in the WHCA for five years.
Just knowing the technical job is not enough, though, Gaut said, explaining that the application process can take up to two years while eligible soldiers are thoroughly checked out for suitability.
The ideal candidates, according to the WHCA, are highly dedicated, professional, responsible and able to work with little supervision. They must be able to travel at a moment’s notice, obtain and keep a top-secret clearance and serve in a four-year presidential support duty billet.
The job specialties included as part of WHCA operations are: 21H, 21L, 21W, 25B, 25F, 25C, 25L, 25M, 25N, 25P, 25Q, 25R, 25S, 25T, 25U, 25V, 25W, 42A, 44C, 44E, 52D, 63B, 88M, 92A, 92Y, 94E, 94W, 96B, 97B and 98G.
Soldiers should have no more than 15 years in service, and those who are still advancing in their careers still will be able to attend Army schools, including the Warrior Leader Course at Fort Knox, Ky.
The assignment is not one that must be done on re-enlistment. Soldiers can apply by going to the Defense Information Systems Agency Web page.
You might want to share this with any recruiters out there - what the IVAW $h!tbags are up to today.
Guess they've got problems with the fact that the Army will probably reach it's recruiting goal for the year.
Spent some time with Bill Roggio this past weekend. More on that later, but for now, here's some insight from Bill on the "arming the militias" issue - a new-ish, bumpersticker-sized quote currently being test-marketed among the ignorati. I guess the stunning stupidity of the phrase is only evident to people who've actually been in Iraq - or know something about the situation here.
It was surreal, to say the least, I think some of the others have used this description as well. We gathered in the Roosevelt room adjacent from the Oval office an hour before our meeting to be briefed, get video com set-up, checking mics, while at the same time, giving the “Baghdad Bills” a hard time on their choice of attire. T- shirts, baseball caps and unshaven. The President also chided them at the end of the meeting.
You can read the complete run down here.
Not sure if this will make the papers...
BAGHDAD, Iraq – Coalition forces captured a suspected al-Qaeda in Iraq terrorist linked to the assassination of Sheik Sattar during an operation Sept. 15 west of Balad.
The captured individual, Fallah Khalifa Hiyas Fayyas al-Jumayli, also known as Abu Khamis, is believed to be responsible for the death of Sheik Abdul Sattar Abu Resha, founder of the Anbar Awakening, a coalition of tribes in Anbar Province committed to driving al-Qaeda in Iraq out of the area. Intelligence reports indicate al-Jumayli is involved in a plot to kill key leaders in the tribal awakening. He is also reportedly responsible for car bomb and suicide vest attacks in Anbar Province, and is closely allied with senior al-Qaeda in Iraq leaders in the region.
Coalition forces raided three buildings while targeting the individual. When the buildings were secure, one of the residents positively identified al-Jumayli. Coalition forces detained three additional suspected terrorists during the raid.
If I get the gist of Greyhawks post on the movie Elah. The usual suspects are claiming that a murder outside of a strip club has somethng to do with Iraq.
I searched google 'Murder +"Strip CLub"' and got back 676,000 references...
Here is a statement from the LAPD about strip clubs and alcohol....
The LAPD also opposed the club's alcohol permit.
"When you get alcohol involved with young men -- and as somebody said earlier, testosterone -- that's a combination of a disaster there," the City Attorney quoted an unidentified LAPD officer as saying. "And I can guarantee that I'm going to be out there on some Saturday night at 1 in the morning handling a murder, because it's just going to happen ... I can guarantee you that."
There is even a book studying strip club related murders -Headless Man in Topless Bar: Studies of 725 Cases of Strip Club Related Criminal Homicides.
You might think the landing craft operator might be in trouble for this parking job.
You would be wrong.
As were a lot of people before the events of 57 years ago this weekend.
As set out here.
Popcorn? Check. Coke bucket? Check. In we go...
Of course she was intrigued. Susan Sarandon had spent the previous three years protesting the war and now Oscar-winning writer-director Paul Haggis was on the phone, asking her to take a role in his new movie exploring the psychological aftershocks plaguing soldiers returning from Iraq.But she really feels sorry for the "baby killers"
Even before joining the cast of "Elah," which takes its name from the biblical place where David battled Goliath, Sarandon was seizing the microphone at antiwar protests and joining forces with activist Cindy Sheehan.
"It's this surreal experience of going from this intense environment where you're just trying to stay alive and you're asked to kill children and women in order to stay alive. And then you come back into this world that has no idea what's been going on over there."Sort of a Scott Thomas Beauchamp thing, where war changes you, makes you into something you weren't.
Haggis wrote the script after a 2004 Playboy magazine story by Mark Boal about a returning soldier who was killed by his close friends and fellow Iraq war vets after a rowdy night of beers and strippers near their base in Fort Benning, Ga. It's a gruesome tale and a true one, and although Haggis diverges into fiction, the movie closely re-creates the horrifying psychological shift that turns comrades into killers.Fortunately, the "film" has at least one thing going for it...
In the end, the role Sarandon didn't know what to do with is still quite small.'Cause Charlize Theron, as the smokin' hot small town cop is the female lead:
Her detective is sharp, crisp and perfectly contained in the professional attire, slicked-back, kick-ass hairdo and bearing. Deglamorized and vocationally accessorized as befits the job, she makes evident the natural stunner that she is.Vavavavoom! Yee-haw! Get me an Oscar, bitch!
Emily's fellow detectives in the squad are lazy, chauvinist goons whose detecting capabilities are as bad as their sense of equality.And as if that weren't drama enough, enter the real villain:
Visiting every military bar in the area, his and Emily's path to discovery is thwarted by the army's official counsel, Lt. Kirklander (Jason Patric) whose desire to learn the truth is suspicious and blunted by disinterest and, possibly, political ramifications.Of course, the whole Charlize Theron part is one of those made-up bits of the story
Despite some obvious fictionalization — the Fort Benning case did not involve the authority-challenging local detective and single mother played by Charlize Theron — the film hews closely enough to fact that Mr. Haggis is considering a dedication to Specialist Davis.How very big of him to consider such a dedication.
Not being familiar with the background story I decided to Google it to learn more about how war turns nice boys into storylines for
television movies of the week Hollywood blockbusters.
Was it this one?
An accused gang member is dead, and two Fort Bragg soldiers in hot water, after a shootout in Spring Lake.No that's from six years before Iraq - from before the lowered standards had us recruiting dirt bags even.
Officers want to know how it happened, and why the soldiers were hanging out with someone believed to be part of a gang.
Spring Lake police say two soldiers and a suspected gang member drove up to a Kaye Street house, just after midnight Monday. While the soldiers waited, officers say Leroy Singleton burst through the back door and fired one shot before someone inside killed him with a pistol grip shotgun.
Police say that's when the two soldiers, Jevon Poole and Corey Burrows, got into the action.
None of those shots hit anyone, but a few bullets tore through Letitia Howard's bedroom window, next door.
Police Chief Gil Campbell says there's plenty of reason to believe the incident was gang-related, including tattoos on the deceased indicating gang membership.
Maybe this one?
A Fort Bragg soldier is in jail Saturday morning, charged with murder. Cumberland County investigators arrested their second suspect just three days after a triple murder.Nope - that was from last century, too. Maybe they were veterans of the Kosovo campaign. Not giving up though - together we'll find the story of how Iraq turns nice boys into Boo Radley. Still looking...
Thursday, they arrested Vincent Lee Thomas. Then Friday, Litdel Burkhalter was taken into custody. The soldier faces three counts of first degree murder. He's being held without bond.
Investigators say Burkhalter and two others entered this home and bound, gagged and shot five people. David Lee Epps, Channel Coleman and Vicki Lockhart all died. Investigators say robbery was the motive.
The weapon is a shotgun, with a pistol grip handle. It was dropped near a school bus stop on the corner of Mackenzie and Duncan Streets in the Spring Lake area. It may be loaded.
Hah! Here's one from 2007:
An arraignment hearing will be held September 18th for a soldier facing a court-martial on charges of premeditated murder......crap, nevermind:
...in the 1985 deaths of the wife of an Air Force captain and two of her children.Must have been the Falklands war that set the guy off.
Wait - found it! And it is a horrific story:
Four soldiers at Fort Benning have been accused of stabbing to death a member of their infantry unit, setting his body on fire and leaving it in the woods just days after their return from Iraq. The police said the four killed the soldier, Specialist Richard R. Davis, after an altercation at a strip club. The remains of Specialist Davis, 24, of St. Charles, Mo., were found on Friday, four months after he was reported missing. On Monday a judge reduced the charges against three of the soldiers -- Jacob Burgoyne, Mario Naverrete and Douglas Woodcoff -- to concealing a body. The fourth soldier, Alberto Martinez, awaits extradition from California on murder charges.No wonder Hollywood smelled money.
When Davis returned [from Iraq], he piled into a car with four other soldiers from his company for a night out to celebrate at a topless bar. At some point, Davis apparently insulted one of the dancers and the soldiers were kicked out, according to police.Too bad there wasn't a real smokin' hot female detective balancing her career with raising her children as a single mom there to go against them.
Davis's fellow soldiers later told police they were upset about it and started brawling with Davis in the parking lot. They left and drove about three miles before Martinez pulled the car over.
Burgoyne and Navarrete got out and continued their fight with Davis. They told police that Woodcoff watched without joining in. Then, they said, Martinez pulled a knife and stabbed Davis several times.
The four soldiers drove to a convenience store and bought lighter fluid, then returned to the bloodied corpse, tried to burn it and left it in the woods. The account of the deadly brawl came from Burgoyne, Navarrete and Woodcoff in police interviews following their Nov. 8 arrest, the day after Davis' body was found.
Police don't believe the soldiers' combat experiences were a factor in the killing. Only two slayings have been linked to the 16,500 3rd Infantry soldiers who deployed to Iraq from Fort Benning and Fort Stewart, near Savannah.
Davis undergoes treatment for PTSD every month. Yet, he doesn't think PTSD had anything to do with his son's murder. Davis has long since maintained that the murder was an attempt to cover up atrocities his son witnessed in Iraq.In fact, one might conclude that he believes his son's killers were actually just murderous, raping thugs:
"That's the lamest excuse I've heard in my life," said Davis clearing his throat.
But Lanny Davis thinks he may know the reason. In an article about Richard's murder published in May 2004, Playboy magazine reported that Martinez and Navarette were alleged to have raped a young Iraqi woman while guarding a mall, and that Richard might have known about it.And then go out and hit the strip club with the guys that did it.
"I believe that what he might have seen over there, whether it was a rape or some other atrocities, I believe that he probably reported that. There's no way I can prove that, but knowing my son, he would say something," says Lanny.
Anyhow, stop the war now! Final word goes to the aging but unintentionally ironic Susan Sarandon:
"The main reason I wanted to do it was that I felt that there has been a huge disconnect between the real war and the politicized war," says the 60-year-old actress, who has been a hugely vocal critic of the conflict since the 2003 invasion. "And I felt that this movie acknowledges that war takes really decent people and changes them."(See also: The Boo Radleys)
What boundaries exist? Are there never any repercussions?
Not even for this?
From comments -
So who asked him if he'd show up in person to the next conference? Posted by John at 2136ZActually, it might be a better idea if Ambassador Crocker and General Patraeus gave there next testimony at the Milbloggers Conference...maybe the American People would then actually learn something besides the fact that their elected representatives are Windbags.(I'm actually pretty sure the American people already knew that...but it is depressing to be reminded)
"It appears we have appointed our worst generals to command forces, and our most gifted and brilliant to edit newspapers. In fact, I discovered by reading newspapers that these editor/geniuses plainly saw all my strategic defects from the start, yet failed to inform me until it was too late. Accordingly, I am readily willing to yield my command to these obviously superior intellects, and I will, in turn, do my best for the Cause by writing editorials - after the fact."
- Robert E. Lee, 1863
Me? just made history is all. Had a meeting with the President with a few other MilBlog Friends. Have to catch a flight out but you can read the others that may have had time to blog about it.
Question: are these two stories inconsistent...
BAGHDAD, June 8 --Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, the mastermind behind hundreds of bombings, kidnappings and beheadings in Iraq, was killed early Wednesday by an airstrike --north of Baghdad, U.S. and Iraqi officials said Thursday.This year:
His killing is the most significant public triumph for the U.S.-led military coalition in Iraq since the 2003 capture of Saddam Hussein, although analysts warned that Zarqawi's death may not stem the tide of insurgency and violence any more than Hussein's capture did. Copying Osama bin Laden's leadership strategy, Zarqawi set up numerous semi-autonomous terrorist cells across Iraq, many of which could continue operating after his death.
Amir Muhammed Ali, a 45-year-old stock broker in Baghdad, was skeptical that al-Zarqawi's death would end the unrelenting sectarian violence and said the Iraqi resistance to U.S.-led forces likely would continue.
"He didn't represent the resistance, someone will replace him and the operations will go on," he said.
The assassination Thursday of the leader of the Sunni Arab revolt against al-Qaida militants dealt a setback to one of the few success stories in U.S. efforts to stabilize Iraq, but tribesmen in Anbar province vowed not to be deterred in fighting the terror movement....or consistent?
Still, the loss of such a charismatic leader is bound to complicate efforts to recruit more tribal leaders in the war against the terror network. Two Pentagon officials, speaking on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak about the matter, said the assassination sent a chilling message about the consequences of cooperating with the Americans.
Think before answering...
Senator Barack Obama yesterday presented his most extensive plan yet for winding down the war in Iraq, proposing to withdraw all combat brigades by the end of next year while leaving behind an unspecified smaller force to strike at terrorists, train Iraqi soldiers and protect American interests.It's great we've reached a point where Iraq is stable enough that this sort of plan can be discussed by reasonable people.
My first question: Will the remaining (non-combat) American troops be allowed to carry weapons of some sort? If so, why?
It would be an understatement to say that I was disgusted and appalled at the behavior of most of the Senators and Congressmen towards General David Petraeus and Ambassador Ryan Crocker. It took very little time to see that most of the people in attendance had no intention of asking appropriate questions or any desire to listen to the answers. It was almost farcical if it were not so deadly serious.
After watching the hearings yesterday, I was especially shocked by the angry and/or condescending tones used by Kennedy, Clinton, Hagel and Byrd (to name just a few) -- regardless of all the self-serving (it looks good in print) "Thank you both for your many years of service" and "all due respects" flung about.
Of course there's more at Some Soldier's Mom...
The Washington Post has this headline - The War Over the War
I find it deeply offensive for some reason. It cheapens the sacrifices made by the people actually fighting the war.
What sacrifices have the Windbags of Washington made? When was the last time they missed happy hour?
If a Windbag of Washington loses an election they won't have haunting memories of the butality of war or be missing body parts or be sent home in a flag draped coffin. They'll get a nice pension and a nice cushy job at some think tank or lobbying firm.
NEW YORK (AP) - If some people thought traveling to Iraq and Syria was a ratings stunt for Katie Couric, it didn't work out that way.I've heard that her reports were well done and well balanced. I haven't seen them - more by circumstance than choice. But at the time I read her earliest blog entries on the trip (of which I was extremely harsh in my own review ) I wondered if - having seen what she had in her first hours here, - she would depart as an advocate of the "troops home now" faith. (No one of good conscious who has been over here could leave as an advocate for abandoning the people of Iraq.)
The "CBS Evening News" tied a record low with just under 5.5 million viewers last week, Nielsen Media Research said Tuesday. Last week and Memorial Day week are the two least-watched CBS evening newscasts since at least 1987, and probably far earlier.
From what I've heard since, she did a very capable job. W. Thomas Smith had time to watch and review:
In a world where reporting war and providing frontline analysis is often slanted, skewed, and just plain wrong, Katie is doing it right. Not perfect to be sure: Iraq is simply too difficult, and military operations (both static and rolling) are usually far too complex for observing journalists to fully get their arms around. But either CBS’s producers on this project have real defense-sense, or Katie has made the decision to avoid any preconceptions she may have previously held about the war and instead report life as she sees it in the trenches.So, why no viewers? More specifically, why would Katie in Iraq (just days ahead of General Petraeus' key report) draw fewer viewers than Katie in America? (Hopefully this eliminates any Katie-bashing in the comments).
Here's what CBS says: "CBS said it wasn't surprising, and argued that last week's numbers were artificially deflated because of U.S. Open coverage." - But I'll offer an alternative. It's related to a point I made here before: no one reads deployed milbloggers. When you think about it, it's amazing - the story of the century, and folks are tuning out all over.
I have a few thoughts as to why this is so, but just thought I'd toss it out for open discussion first.
Am I the only one that gets a mental image of a group of people sitting around a table trying to reach Harry Houdini for advice on universal healthcare when reading that?
Or wonders if they need modern telecommunications systems to maintain their network?
Other than that, they aren't funny.
And by the way, Jim...
Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) also participated in the conference call, telling activists that any military success in Iraq is "unworthy of the sacrifice of military families."
"And Congressman Moran, 200 of your constituents just returned from Afghanistan. We never got a letter from you; we never got a visit from you. You didn't come to our homecoming. The only thing we got from any of our elected officials was one letter from the governor of this state thanking us for our service in Iraq, when we were in Afghanistan. That's reprehensible. I don't know who you two are talking to but the morale of the troops is very high."
Moran - who is one of the few congressmen supporting Charlie Rangel's call to restore the draft - responded quickly: "That wasn't in the form of a question, it was in the form of a statement. But, uhh... let's go over here." And he took the next question.
I’ve done enough posts about 9/11 that had to do with me so I might as well tell you guys about someone I know. Back in the early 90, right out of Field Medical Service School (the place where Navy Corpsman learn to play with the Marines and about combat medicine), I was assigned to VMFA (AW)-242 at MCAS El Toro and also assigned to the unit right before we left was a wet behind the ears doctor, Lt David Tarantino.
So we went on our wild far east tour and came back and he transferred to a hospital for his residency.
9/11 happens and I drop everything and go back into the military and a couple of months into 2002, I’m in the barracks room of one of my Marines glancing through a Playboy that was sitting there and suddenly there’s picture of Doc standing at a party at the mansion in his dress whites, he had picked up LtCdr since the last time I had see him. Hugh threw a party for the Firefighters and heroes involved in saving lives that day.
Doc was at the Pentagon when the plane hit and rushed into a burning room to save a guy. You can find that story here and here and pictures here (they do a great time of telling what happened and I would do a disservice to the tale telling it again). Definitely the stuff heroes are made out of but then again, part of our job is being a hero when the time comes. He was able to answer the call. I’m glad he made it out alright and I'm glad to call him friend. It’s a small world.
Is doing a special on Rick Rescorla. It's on NOW. Quick go watch it.
I don't like to talk about politics on this site but today I'm making an exception. What the hell we have no rules here. ;)
Unlike the others in the presidential race who used today to posture their politics in their remembrance of 9-11, Rudy did something today, IMHO, that showed class.
This is, by no means, an endorsement for Rudy Giuliani but an observation of his actions and of the other candidates. I saw this on CNN and had to check it out.
..."Today is a solemn occasion, to keep in our prayers the men and women who lost their lives and their families. It is also a reminder that six years after the attacks many first responders, building and construction trades workers, volunteers, residents, office workers and students are suffering from the health effects of the attacks. Countless New Yorkers and others continue to experience health problems as a result of the toxic cloud of chemicals and debris that blanketed streets and poisoned lungs.
No talking points there...cough...healthcare.
Obama makes this little statement
...The threat that came to our shores that day has only grown. Let us resolve to come together again, united as a people as we were in the days after 9/11. Let us write a new chapter in American history in which hope triumphs over fear
Hmmm so many things to point out, but I'm trying to hold my tonque.
Fred Thomson doesn't mention 9-11 but I'm not exactly sure if he has an official site yet.
Mitt Romney was good, he didn't really politicize his remembrance.
...Each person, whether taken in unknowing sacrifice or resigned to death after heroic struggle, stands in our mind's eye in the brilliant light of faith and patriotism. In the years since 9/11, the spreading evil of radical Jihad has been visited on other cities around the world. Yet, our resolve remains strong. From soldiers guarding our liberty on foreign shores to those of us living under the umbrella of the protection they provide, we are united in remembering loved ones lost on that day and in our determination to protect our homeland from future attacks."
What did Rudy do? He chose to make today not about politics and he took his site down completely for the whole day. Total blue screen with only "We will not forget" and one sentence from his Address to the United Nations.
“This massive attack was intended to break our spirit. It has not done that. It has made us stronger, more determined and more resolved.”
Hey, it's possible that this was a political move, and if so then he must have Karl Rove advising him because that was sheer genius.
Either way my hat goes off to Rudy today for at least getting it.
I meant to post this over the weekend... oh well..
COLUMBUS, Ga. — Gen. David Petraeus, the top U.S. commander in Iraq who’s due to provide an assessment of the war to Congress on Monday, was in Georgia Friday afternoon on a much easier and more personal mission.
He visited the Fryar Drop Zone at Fort Benning to watch his son, Stephen, make his fifth and final jump as he graduates from Airborne School.
“I’d like to introduce our latest Airborne trooper,” Petraeus said as his son, a 20-year-old member of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Army ROTC program, beamed.
The rest from Army Times
As the daughter of a paratrooper, and having once had the honor of pinning those wings on my son, I know exactly how the General feels.
On the other hand, I think the General was prouder when his son said,
“My dad is a jumpmaster and a master parachutist,” he said. “I hardly think he’s nervous about giving a speech.”
Hooah, Airborne. Hooah!
A U.S. citizen has confessed to using an axe to kill a Dutch student after failing to find a soldier to attack, his lawyer said Tuesday.
When he failed to find a soldier at the Roosendaal train station, "he got such a crazy, disturbed idea that he killed a civilian," Gremmen said
But he's sorry, so that must matter. To someone.
"It's a sad story," Gremmen said. "But I'm glad he's admitted what he's done and that he's sorry for it."
Can you do the Math? Sanchez said that the number of Iraqis that want Coalition forces to leave immediately has risen from 35% to 47%... That means that 53% (a majority.. more than half... a concept known apparently well to the Dems)-- 53% DON'T want them to leave immediately... hmmm... and I used to be impressed with the soldiers' constraint boots on the ground... just not sure how Gen. P doesn't let loose with an occasional "oh, STFU... do want to make speeches or get answers from someone that knows?"
And I was almost apoplectic this morning watching the "hearings" in Sen. For. Rel. when -- after every Democrat pontificating for their entire alloted time -- and BBoxer WITH full blown up pictures -- and then asking a loaded question and telling the General to please submit his response in writing -- Biden told General Petraeus (and Amb. Crocker)that "it would be in your best interest if you could shorten your answers a bit"... WWWHHHHHHHHAAAAAAAAAATTTTTTTT????!!! aaagggghhhhhhh
Update: onto the Armed Services Committee... and Levin is quoting Ralph Peters for a guide on foreign and military policy???!!!! I repeat: AAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRGGGGGGGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHH
Update2: and now Levin (after any number of speeches and not one single question 30 minutes in... ) is quoting a NYT article????? aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaggggggggggggggggggggggrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh basing his questions on "the NYT reported...???!!! (weep... weep... this is the best he can do??? ) time for a drink... thank God... it's McCain's turn... and BE STILL MY HEART -- he just asked a question of Gen. P!!! and now Crocker... REAL questions... on Iran.. on the contribution of the Surge to the turn in the tide in al Anbar... on soft partioning... Iraqi police as failure... replication of Anbar success throughout Iraq...
Update 3... I will have to go hide in a closet for the next 5 minutes... Teddy is up.... the Administration is holding American soldiers and military HOSTAGE in Iraq???? [blogger now openly wailing now...] quoting the COIN manual back at Gen. P... and I love Gen. P. saying "in his best professional military advice, these are my recommendations..." HOOAH.
another sad moment... Warner's up... quoting Gen. P's letter to his troops... and asking about what part "didn't turn out as we had hoped"... and Gen. P. saying that previous plans hadn't given results hoped for... Warner asking about the January 07 NIE... and later estimates... interrupting Gen. P. to talk about whether reconciliation should be "bottom up" or "top down"... to Crocker... Crocker saying must be elements of both... back to Gen P. ... Sen. W: "I'm confident that you [Gen. P] keep the casualties in his mind every day and that he will keep them in mind when advising the President... can you say at this time that if we continue... do you think that is making America safe?' Gen. P: "I believe that this is the best strategy to achieve our mission in Iraq. Sen. W: "Is that making America safe..." Gen P "I don't know... I have not stepped back to assess that..."
Sen. Byrd... claiming the hearings on 9/11 are an attempt to link Iraq with 9/11 attacks... to Gen P. "Is there a link between Iraq and the attacks of 9/11" Gen P: Not that I'm aware of." that answer seemed to have surprised Byrd and shut that down... Sen. B "Why should we keep gving you more time??" Crocker responding with there is progress and it's working... Gen. P: We are not arming Sunni tribes... they certainly had enough weapons... they simply got our thumbs up when they asked if they could aim the weapons at al Q'eda instead of us... while there is no direct link between AQ and 9/11, AQ is certainly a large and lethal and barbaric part of te insurgency in insiting sectarian violence... Byrd seemed puzzled... talking about benchmarks... revenue sharing even in absence of rev sharing law...
on to Sen. Inhofe... Fallujah and Ramadi now secure... please ask a question... who wrote and who is ehind the report... Gen. P: initial drafts of a bunch of bright guys... rewritten completely by me... not shared with anyone at the Pentagon or the White House... Sen. I talking about the NYT reporters who said "War we might win..." and now noting Katie Couric -- no friend to the war effort -- lauding the progress in Fallujah and Iraqis seeking the help of America's soldiers in that recovery... wanting to get that on the record... to Gen P "Are there any AQ training camps in Iraq?" "Certainly areas where AQ holds influence, but that was part of the aim of the Surge... Sen. I: training camps that were there are not there any more..." now asking about the results of pulling out and Iran eanting to fill the power vacuum... and Crocker saying that Iran has alrewady demonstrated by munitions, support of militias, etc. and Iran already trying to do just that..." to Gen. P what factors s/b used to determine troop levels, withdrawls, redistribution... Gen P: conditions on the ground, battlefield geometry...
on to Sen. Lieberman... applauding reports and success on the "battlefield" of the Congress over the past few days... non-political... straight shooters... Gen P: Ramadi... Marines & soldiers joined by tribes finally successful in clearing area and moving forward... worked hard to fuse inteligence and coordination of different types of assets... Sen. L: on to Iran... responsible for the murder of soldiers and civilians... to Crocker... in your view, are the Iranians responding to diplomatic efforts? Crocker: no evidence on the ground that it is responding... to Gen. P: do you have what you need to respond to Iran's efforts: Gen. P: Yes... but my ops are limited to Iraq and does not extens to ops in Iran... WHHHOOOA: Sen L asking if Gen P thinks it's time to give Gen P the authority to expand to Iran? Gen. P: not at this time... focus on Iraq... others deal with Iran
On to Sen. Jeff Sessions.. asking for nonpartisan efforts to develop, fund & implement whatever policy comes from hearings... Gen. P talking about Joint Security Stations... patrol bases... combat outposts... ensuring soldiers and IPP are in the neighborhoods and protecting locally... 24/7... with positive developments.. worked exceedingly well when they know we're there to stay... local help and intel... particularly as locals sense momentum and get on board... O's and NCO's really do "get it" in ways they didn't in the past... we are deploying forces in the most appropriate ways ... counterinsurgency... peace inforcement... nation building... areas are different throughout the country... Sessions: we can make progress... Gen. P: you said you would tell us the truth and the Americans: Are you telling us the truth today? Gen. P: Yes, sir, I am." Sessions: Do we have a very realistic chance of achieving our objectives in Iraq. Gen. P: Yes, sir, we have a very realistic chance of achiving our objectives in Iraq."
on to Sen. Reed: ever recommend 18 mos. tours? no... on to British ops in Basra... British left and it's deteriorating Gen. P: violence levels falling dramatically in the last few months... changed police commander... accomodated political changes... Iranian involvement in the area... Op Sinbad (Br. Op) was undertaken for short term goals not long term [like Surge] ... Iraqis standing up in Basra and Iraqis moving in to reinforce... [dang, I love Gen. P!! nice beat down Gen. P!] Basra not like some other areas that don't have sectarian issues... is Shia area... not heightened violence of Sunni-Shia...
signing off... life trumps blogging...
By that, I mean this:
If you see a senator or representative close to you, I encourage you look them up and ask them what they think about the MoveOn.org ad and what they’re going to do about the money they’ve received. Might I suggest that returning the funds to MoveOn would be an unsatisfactory response; the money would be better spent on something like the Wounded Warrior Project.The list is at the first link.
Not as many from 2006, compared to '04. Guess the cash isn't flowing in to MoveOn quite like in the old days. Good thing the Times gave them a huge discount on the ad.
As I write it's 16:45 my time. In America it's Tueday, September 11, 2007.
And it's 8:45. Six years ago that was the last minute of peace before the beginning of the war on terror.
Six years later, ...
A great pictorial of a 9/11 Truther March and something called the "Power to the Peaceful festival" held in San Francisco. (No really, San Francisco. Who knew?)
Scroll down a bit and you'll find a picture that made me laugh out loud. A "pseudo-memorial to a fallen Universal Soldier". It's the classic boots, rifle, helmet display. The laugh came from the boots - a pair of jungle boots like ones I wore in Korea back in the 80's (and that were worn back in 'Nam, baby, in Nam!).
Just struck me as pathetic that absolutely no one associated with this rather well-attended event had access to a pair of modern boots, and instead had to grab something from a surplus store or an elderly uncle's closet.
The helmet looks like an old steel pot (personally I can't tell if it's an issue item from old uncle Joe's closet or not) with a camoflauge pattern I don't recognize. But it was the boots that brought laughter to me in the middle of a war on the anniversary of it's start.
Loretta Sanchez says the BBC is more reliable as a source of facts than American Generals in Iraq, and adds "General Petraeus will know what I mean".
Really? Did the General respond to that? The question was to Ambassador Crocker, so it was a statement made with the courage and conviction of someone who knows the individual cited as authoritative won't be there to confirm or deny.
If I were in communication with the General - say, as a reporter, I'd surely put the question to him.
And gosh, it was certainly surprising how many members of congress were armed with the BBCs well-timed hit piece. Too bad that story wasn't released earlier, then Ambassador Crocker might have had a chance to read it on the flight over.
Of course, Senators and Representatives live and die by polls, but here's one from this past summer that didn't come up in yesterday's discussion:
Confidence in institutions (percentage saying "great deal" or "quite a lot"):
Television News: 23
Those results have been pretty consistent since 2001, if not before.
So, yeah, if you're a congressman who wants to convince someone that the media is more dependable than the military, you might want to pretend the General agrees with you. For credibility. And stuff. Somehow this makes sense in Sanchez' mind - and Walter Cronkite will agree with me here, I'm sure.
Anyhow, I'd really like to hear the General's response.
When I saw this sky last night,
it reminded me so much of the sky the night of 9/11/2001 as I passed over the Tappan Zee Bridge and glanced in horror down the Hudson River towards the gaping hole in the sky where the Towers had stood that morning. Except that night the sky glowed red not with God's glory, but with the blood red glow of the flames that burned at Ground Zero... and the bright patches of the horizon were the billows and clouds not of Nature and beauty, but the klieg-lit smoke and dust of death and destruction wrought by evil, soulless, barbaric people who hate their God rather than love Him. It is the only conclusion in the face of the murder of innocents based solely on the words of a man... on the words of men in the name of the Almighty.
As is the case of most Americans, today we will speak of "where were you..." and our recollections of that day, of the emotions, of what we see in retrospect.
I certainly remember the sights... but I am most struck by the sounds of the day... the crying and sobbing... the gasps... the cursing... the anger... the disbelief. As my twin said, "I must have said a bajillion times that day, 'I can't believe this is happening... I can't believe this is happening.' " Mostly I recall the silence.
The events of September 11, 2001 changed every American's life in some respect... some for better, some not. It changed the lives of many non-Americans that day... and continues to change lives as we go forward. Certainly the mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, husbands and wives of those murdered without warning or provocation live every day with the horror of the butchery of that day... and the result.
Within my immediate family, both my husband, a retired Navy officer, and the oldest son who was (and is) in the Navy, the fact that America had been attacked was a "Holy Shit" moment. The emotion in J's voice so clear when he said that we were now at war and the job of defending the country was no longer simply a slogan or idle words in an oath. The husband bewailing and regretting that he had retired from active service...
For the middle son, he thought about returning to military service; for the youngest, it solidified a lifelong desire to serve. I know that Noah and we could never have imagined on that day just where that would lead us all.
Without fail, every one of my family members uses the same words to describe the day: surreal... overwhelming... unbelievable. Me, too. But there was something else that was born that day for each of us: a commitment to be certain that we never suffer again as we did that day... To be vigilant against and united in the crushing defeat of terrorism and extremism everywhere.
As for me, the lasting idiosyncrasy of that day is this: every time I see a clock that has :11 at the end -- regardless of the hour, I say "it's always 9:11 somewhere"... followed at some point by, "and please, Lord, keep all our Guys safe... and if You can, please let them get some more of those f**kers today."
x-posted at Some Soldier's MomAll done!
I was disappointed to see the headline stating it was "Iraqi's own poll", then I actually read the second paragraph of the story and found out he headline was a lie - it should read "BBC survey says Surge Failed!" No surprise whatsoever in that.
I could have saved them a lot of time and told them there's a war going on over here. It's nice to see the BBC reporting Iraq isn't a land of happy butterflies and flowers, but other than Michal Moore I don't think anyone anywhere ever said otherwise.
The "surge" is an ongoing process, not a completed effort that can now be evaluated. Back when this whole "September report" scheme was first cooked up I said the media was looking for a "date certain" they could declare failure. Sometimes it sucks to always be right.
What we'll get in September will be another candid assessment from General Petraeus (it will be ignored or distorted - as this week's was) of progress of an ongoing process - along with recommendations on how to go forward from there. To predict more would be folly. But I do predict "some" will claim anything less than a declaration of "total victory" (and that declaration won't happen) is defeat. As noted, reporters want a "date certain" they can declare failure, and will gleefully do so once that assessment date arrives.All done!
I was especially heartened to hear the opinion of Rep Skelten(D) about Code Pink at 3:19 here.
He used the same word Greyhawk used to describe Beauchamp here.
Duncan Hunter's got the military's back--check the video of his statement prior to Petraeus speaking.
Gen. David H. Petraeus, commanding general, Multi-National Force, and Ambassador Ryan C. Crocker discuss the details of their report on the military and political situation in Iraq. They testify before a joint hearing of the House Armed Services Cmte. and the House Foreign Affairs Cmte.
a separate poll released today shows that an overwhelming numbers of Iraqis say the U.S. troop buildup has worsened security and the prospects for economic and political progress in their country.
Forty-seven percent of those surveyed in a poll conducted by ABC News, Britain's BBC, and Japan's public broadcaster NHK said they want American forces and their coalition allies to leave the country immediately. This was 12 percent more people than harbored those views in a March poll, just as the troop increase was beginning. And 57 percent — including nearly all Sunnis and half of Shiites — said they consider attacks on coalition forces acceptable, a slight increase over the past half year.
And we should believe their poll because according to Sen Reid, Sen Durbin and others, Petraeus is a liar
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, ended last week saying Gen. Petraeus has "made a number of statements over the years that have not proven to be factual."
And Rep. Rahm Emanuel of Illinois, chairman of the Democratic Caucus, said on the House floor that the general's report could win "the Nobel Prize for creative statistics or the Pulitzer for fiction."
"Instead of a new strategy for Iraq, the Bush administration is cherry-picking the data to support their political objectives and preparing a report that will offer another defense of the president's strategy," he said.
All in all though, it will it matter what Gen. David Petraeus says in his report today or what the troops see first hand?
Or are Minds are already made up.
But as an articulator of a vision, an expounder of "Islamofascism," or whatever the new trademarked word is now, he's about as coherent and comprehensible as a 9th tier blogger or one of those whacks sitting on a stoop in Union Square talking about fascism and Texas oil barons before they get overcome by the shakes or decide to start collecting more aluminum cans.He's right - the top-tier bloggers on the Left have all made bin Laden's points previously, and in a much more erudite fashion. Really though, they've got to be dreading the idea that he might actually start his own blog and steal their posts on a daily basis.
Speaking of which, have the other Lefty blogs weighed in on this yet? Have any started copyright infringement actions?
A Navy chaplain.
A silly song that topped the charts and delivered a powerful message.
A major anti-war rally - which begins with marches throughout downtown Sacramento - will be held at the State Capitol Friday (Sept. 7) on the West Steps, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., according to event organizers.
The rally will involve those opposed to the war in Iraq from throughout Northern California.
I won't list the 20 organizations that sponsered the event..(The same 20 that sponsor every anti-western civilization event)
About 200 people gathered on the west steps of the State Capitol on Friday afternoon to lodge their protest against the Iraq war. Demonstrators represented a broad swath of area peace groups, as well as students, professors and religious groups.
In other Protest News via WKLY - Lexington,KY
LEXINGTON, Ky. -- Dozens of people rallied in front of an Applebee's restaurant in Lexington Saturday to support a woman who said she was told to cover up while breast-feeding her son.
Brooke Ryan said she was breast-feeding her 7-month-old son at the restaurant in June when a manager asked her to cover up.
PHOENIX -- Dozens of demonstrators who support women breast-feeding in public held up signs outside an east Phoenix Applebee's to protest a recent confrontation at one of the chain's restaurants in Lexington, Ky.
SARASOTA --A band of nursing mothers plans to take to the streets today in protest of a nationwide eatery's policy on breast-feeding. The demonstration, sponsored by Birth Without Borders, is one of 33 across the country today, expected to gather together 1,300 people.All done!
The fabulous Mrs. Badger 6 will be on CNN tomorrow evening in the 8:00 EDT hour. She expects her segment to begin around 8:10. Don't miss it.
Marco Martinez asks the simple question that has a not-so-simple answer.
Political dissent is healthy, especially when the issue is as critical as the Iraq war. But so is human decency. When an anti-war protester at the college I attend found out I was an Iraq veteran, she called me "a disgusting human being." I felt sorry for her, so blinded by politics that she had abandoned basic civility. Thankfully, she doesn't represent most Americans who oppose the war. But I worry about those still on the battlefield, and the individuals they will face when they return to a nation embroiled in election politics.Ask Sen. Feinstein.
Many combat veterans, like me, have the luxury of watching the political debates from the safety of America. Not true for the 190,000 troops in Iraq and Afghanistan. Undermining the efforts of those whom one claims to support is the height of hubris.
Is it too much to ask that politicians view U.S. progress in Iraq as positive and not negative? I pray not.
Robert Fisk of the Indepententquestions
I am talking about scientific issues. If it is true, for example, that kerosene burns at 820C under optimum conditions, how come the steel beams of the twin towers – whose melting point is supposed to be about 1,480C – would snap through at the same time?
Your Answer Mr Fisk is here.
When a metal is hot worked, it is shaped while it is above its re-crystallisation temperature. In these circumstances, annealing takes place while the metal is worked rather than being a separate process. The metal can therefore be worked without it becoming work hardened. Hot working is usually carried out with the metal at a temperature of about 0.6 of its melting point.
The steel only needs to be heated to a temperture where it bends, which is considerably lower than it's melting point..ask any blacksmith.
So I did my thing on the Osama "I'm deep in a cave" bin Laden video over at Some Soldier's Mom which concludes:
So, Osama, notice the Stars & Stripes... this family Supports Victory... in Iraq... in Afghanistan... and wherever freedom-loving people fight terrorists and extremists. Look closely, O... and remove one finger.
(I know... good thing I don't have to be anyone's role model... grin.)
In the July 16 report, two soldiers with the 2nd Infantry division, Corporal Joshua Lake and Specialist Michael Vassell, spoke candidly about their experiences in Iraq.That position has been noted:
"We got grenades going off. We've got an IED blowing up your vehicle. And then you're expected to go back in those four to six, four to five hours and get, and relax to come back out and do another six hours," Lake said. "You don't have time, you just don't have time to do it."
"Because we have people up there in Congress with the brain of a 2-year-old who don't know what they're doing. They don't experience it," Vassell said. "I, I challenge the President or whoever has us here for 15 months to ride along, alongside me. I'll do another 15 months if he comes out here and rides along with me every day for 15 months. I'll do 15 more months. No, I - they don't even have to pay me extra."
It would benefit you to listen to the poignant messages of your soldiers in Iraq, who are paying -- with their blood, nerves and scattered limbs -- the price for these sorts of irresponsible statements. Among them is the eloquent message of Joshua which he sent by way of the media, in which he wipes the tears from his eyes and describes American politicians in harsh terms and invites them to join him there for a few days. Perhaps the message will find in you an attentive ear so you can rescue him and more than 150,000 of your sons there who are tasting the two bitterest things:So who said it? Nancy Pelosi? Harry Reid? Jon Soltz?
If they leave their barracks, the mines devour them, and if they refuse to leave, rulings are passed against them. Thus the only options left in front of them are to commit suicide or cry, both of which are from the severest of afflictions. So is there anything more men can do after crying and killing themselves to make you respond to them? They are doing that out of the severity of humiliation, fear, and terror which they are suffering.
Nope, Osama bin Laden.
Sucks to be you, Joshua.
Update: Clarification from Newsbusters: "Specialist Michael Vassell, not Corporal Joshua Lake, made the comment cited by bin Laden." Still sucks to be Joshua. In fact, it sucks even worse - one of America's greatest enemies in history quotes his pal and pins it on him.
Spc Vassell is African-American, which helps explain the remainder of bin Laden's comments regarding service in Iraq:
It is severer than what the slaves used to suffer at your hands centuries ago, and it is as if some of them have gone from one slavery to another slavery more severe and harmful, even if it be in the fancy dress of the Defense Department's financial enticements.Osama's inspiration for that bit was Charlie Rangell (D-NY):
[Rangell] called the war “morally wrong” and said “it goes even beyond the brutality of slavery and the lynchings.”
Seriously, a copy of this one needs to go to every GI in Iraq.
By the way, Osama's been pretty consistent over the years.
Where was this false courage of yours when the explosion in Beirut took place on 1983 AD (1403 A.H). You were turned into scattered pits and pieces at that time; 241 mainly marines solders were killed. And where was this courage of yours when two explosions made you to leave Aden in lees than twenty four hours!1998:
But your most disgraceful case was in Somalia; where- after vigorous propaganda about the power of the USA and its post cold war leadership of the new world order- you moved tens of thousands of international force, including twenty eight thousands American solders into Somalia. However, when tens of your solders were killed in minor battles and one American Pilot was dragged in the streets of Mogadishu you left the area carrying disappointment, humiliation, defeat and your dead with you. Clinton appeared in front of the whole world threatening and promising revenge , but these threats were merely a preparation for withdrawal. You have been disgraced by Allah and you withdrew; the extent of your impotence and weaknesses became very clear. It was a pleasure for the "heart" of every Muslim and a remedy to the "chests" of believing nations to see you defeated in the three Islamic cities of Beirut , Aden and Mogadishu...
John Miller, ABC: Describe the situation when your men took down the American forces in Somalia.
Osama bin Laden: After our victory in Afghanistan and the defeat of the oppressors who had killed millions of Muslims, the legend about the invincibility of the superpowers vanished. Our boys no longer viewed America as a superpower. So, when they left Afghanistan, they went to Somalia and prepared themselves carefully for a long war. They had thought that the Americans were like the Russians, so they trained and prepared. They were stunned when they discovered how low was the morale of the American soldier. America had entered with 30,000 soldiers in addition to thousands of soldiers from different countries in the world. ... As I said, our boys were shocked by the low morale of the American soldier and they realized that the American soldier was just a paper tiger. He was unable to endure the strikes that were dealt to his army, so he fled, and America had to stop all its bragging and all that noise it was making in the press after the Gulf War in which it destroyed the infrastructure and the milk and dairy industry that was vital for the infants and the children and the civilians and blew up dams which were necessary for the crops people grew to feed their families. Proud of this destruction, America assumed the titles of world leader and master of the new world order. After a few blows, it forgot all about those titles and rushed out of Somalia in shame and disgrace, dragging the bodies of its soldiers. America stopped calling itself world leader and master of the new world order, and its politicians realized that those titles were too big for them and that they were unworthy of them. I was in Sudan when this happened. I was very happy to learn of that great defeat that America suffered, so was every Muslim. ...
Selected Quotes via SITE Institute
In the Vietnam War, the leaders of the White House claimed at the time that it was a necessary and crucial war, and during it, Rumsfeld and his aides murdered two million villagers. And when Kennedy took over the presidency and deviated from the general line of policy drawn up for the White House and wanted to stop this unjust war, that angered the owners of the major corporations who were benefiting from its continuation. And so Kennedy was killed,
And among the most capable of those from your own side who speak to you on this topic and on the manufacturing of public opinion is Noam Chomsky
In fact, the life of all of mankind is in danger because of the global warming resulting to a large degree from the emissions of the factories of the major corporations
This is why I tell you: as you liberated yourselves before from the slavery of monks, kings, and feudalism, you should liberate yourselves from the deception, shackles and attrition of the capitalist system.
I would note that Osama's Daddy owned one of the largest Corporations in the Middle East. I'm sure as the son of Daddies 10th wife he didn't get enough attention as a child. Yet another poor little rich kid mad at his daddy taking it out on the world.
Did anyone catch the Montel Williams Show today? Remember this? Well, apparently the show aired today. Take a look at the preview (click on image to launch video) and note the voice that says, "some members of our studio audience refused to hear it."
I didn't see the episode, but would love to know if any of you did. And if so, does Montel identify that member of the audience who "refused" to hear it as a member of our armed forces? Because he is. In fact, he's an OIF and an OEF veteran.
Was the show a fair one, or a hit piece? Just curious.
I've been reading The Glorious Cause, the second part of Jeff Shaara's two volume novelization of the American Revolution. By coincidence, just read this passage yesterday - a discussion of Washington's thoughts at one point during a battle as he hears complaints from a junior officer.
He dreaded the aftermath of any battle, had been trough this before, small men striking out with rumor and their pens at those who had done the work with musket and sword. It was the nature of war, and the nature of men who brought more ambition to the battle than ability.Not sure if that's sourced from a Washington quote or not, but I doubt there's ever been a commander in history who hasn't felt exactly that way at one time or another.
In her post, Mrs. G. linked to Stop the ACLU, which echoes Riehl’s cautionary note. Stop the ACLU included some feedback from some who have read through the ACLU allegations, and found them predictable, consistent with anti-war propaganda, and often mischaracterized. Credibility and validity indicators, both “D” val.
Chapomatic noted a related Glenn Reynolds post and suggested that the intent of allegations and accusations aren’t necessarily to achieve punishment, and surely not justice:
Oh by the way that series of accusations, of which you have heard? Nothing was proved. No wrongdoing was indicated. The accused were free to go, after their careers and reputations were ruined.A “troubling pattern” of behavior by the ACLU, I’d say.
That's more effective than shooting someone in wartime--not only is one guy off the field, but so are many more comrades, and the chilling effect will kill more and render others unable to shoot the right person at the right time.
Riehl offered a cautionary rejoinder to Bob Owens on his recent defense of our troops.
Why the note of caution from Riehl? He warns Owens and his readers that, “unfortunately, it isn’t all made up.” Riehl refers to Owens implication that negative stories about the US military attack “the integrity of those who serve.”
Owens points to numerous signs of progress in Iraq, admits that partisans on both sides (himself included) will “spin the data and the findings to support our political viewpoints.” Along the way, Owens highlights Hollywood propagandists, along with ubiquitous media doom-speak, and similar critical descriptions of Administration spin and “illusions.”
Owens notes the ease and frequency with which war critics suggest that GEN Petraeus and other military leaders will lie or misrepresent progress and “facts on the ground” for political ends. In this context, Owens mentions the “brutal fantasies” of Scott Beauchamp, and the dishonesty of TNR and its editor’s reactions to claims of serial untruthfulness in Beauchamp’s “diary” entries.
I suppose that’s the basis for Riehl’s cautionary disclaimer that “it isn’t all made up,” it being any comments or presentation of purported facts about military misbehavior. Doubtlessly Riehl is correct, but the object of his misgivings (the ACLU report) itself warrants scrutiny and skepticism.
The ACLU’s actual press release avoids making much of any generalizations about military misbehavior, summarizing their document release in neutral terms:
The Army has provided thousands of pages of documents chronicling civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan. Those documents include new evidence of coalition forces’ involvement in civilian casualties in Iraq and Afghanistan.
A critic of our military and efforts in Iraq or Afghanistan might interpret the phrase “evidence of coalition forces’ involvement in civilian casualties” as damning, but a careful study of many of the documents themselves suggest otherwise.
The ACLU excerpts of 10 Courts Martial Proceedings show convictions and other punishments for 9 out of the 10 cases, and they clearly show military wrong-doing. But the ACLU pad their cache of documents a great number that indicate exoneration, lack of negligence, outright innocence, and in only a few cases, possible criminal behavior.
The ACLU does manage to squeeze in those very few cherry picked examples of excess and extreme behavior that proves the rare exception, even within these documents that the ACLU apparently finds so conclusive. And in doing so, they even manage to misrepresent one of their most valued examples of wrongful deaths:
Yet another file describes an investigation of a riot at a U.S. interment facility at Camp Bucca, Iraq, evidently related to claims that U.S. personnel had defaced the Qur’an. At least four Iraqi prisoners were shot and killed by Coalition Forces during the disturbance.I read that file. Here are the details that the ACLU left out:
Investigation determined [redacted] were justified in their use of lethal force during the riot. After approximately 2 hours of rioting, with the riot escalating and non-lethal ammunition almost expended, [redacted] fire a total of eight lethal rounds at detainees engaged in the riot because of fear for their own lives and the lives of other US security personnel. The use of deadly force was consistent with applicable regulations and policies. [ed., and common sense]TIME, of course, exaggerates what the ACLU press release actually says:
The cause of death for Detainees ABID, MOUSA, HAMED, and TAWFEEEK was gunshot wounds. The manner of their deaths was homicide. The manner of death is a medical classification that should not be confused with criminal statutes. No personnel involved in controlling the riot, including [redacted] violated criminal statutes.
New documents released Tuesday regarding crimes committed by U.S. soldiers against civilians in Iraq and Afghanistan detail a troubling pattern of troops failing to understand and follow the rules that govern interrogations and deadly actions.Other than the Courts Martial proceedings -- note to non-military, those document prosecutions, which mean the military sought to punish wrongdoing) -- these documents hardly detail anything of substance, and surely not a “pattern.” Twenty two incidents barely rise beyond any reasonable margin of error, and the “repeated examples of soldiers believing they were within the law” are matched in many cases by an administrative, investigation, or judicial determination that, in fact, they were within the law.
The documents, released by the American Civil Liberties Union ahead of a lawsuit, total nearly 10,000 pages of courts-martial summaries, transcripts and military investigative reports about 22 incidents. They show repeated examples of soldiers believing they were within the law when they killed local citizens.
(Extended commentary back at Dadmanly.)All done!
via CS Monitor
On the Republican side, Sen. John Warner (R) of Virginia stunned many of his colleagues when he called for a drawdown of at least 5,000 US forces by Christmas to send a "sharp and clear message" to the Iraqi government and throughout the region.
There are currently 5 Combat Brigades plus a Combat Aviation Brigade in Northern Iraq.
The division will be based at Contingency Operating Base Speicher, north of Baghdad, where it will replace 25th Infantry Division headquarters as the command and control element for Multi-National Division-North. Major components of the division will include the newly organized 1st Combat Aviation Brigade, 1st Infantry Division, Fort Riley, Kan.; 4th Stryker Brigade Combat Team, 2nd Infantry Division, Fort Lewis, Wash.; 3rd Armored Cavalry Regiment, Fort Hood, Texas; 1st Brigade, 101st Airborne Division, Fort Campbell, Ky.; and 1st Brigade, 10th Mountain Division, Fort Drum, N.Y.
It would seem the new Division HQ going to Northern Iraq is only planning on having 4 Combat Brigades.
First rule of politics...find a parade and get in front of it.
Apropos of the ACLU's ten thousand page j'accuse (which certainly indicates how they've been spending their time, and their focus these days)...
Instapundit is in the middle of reading a book about law and terror. The post is worth reading. Reynolds points out this little tidbit:
In my two years in the government, I witnessed top officials and bureaucrats in the White House and throughout the administration openly worrying that investigators acting with the benefit of hindsight in a different political environment would impose criminal penalties on heat-of-battle judgment calls. These men and women did not believe they were breaking the law, and indeed they took extraordinary steps to ensure that they didn't. But they worried nonetheless because they would be judged in an atmosphere different from when they acted, because the criminal investigative process is mysterious and scary, because lawyers' fees can cause devastating financial losses, and because an investigation can produce reputation-ruining dishonor and possibly end one's career, even if you emerge "innocent."
Why, then, do they even come close to the legal line? Why risk reputation, fortune, and perhaps liberty? Why not play it safe? Many counterterrorism officials did play it safe before 9/11, when the criminalization of war and intelligence contributed to the paralyzing risk aversion that pervaded the White House and the intelligence community. The 9/11 attacks, however, made playing it safe no longer feasible. . . .
Oh by the way that series of accusations, of which you have heard? Nothing was proved. No wrongdoing was indicated. The accused were free to go, after their careers and reputations were ruined.
That's more effective than shooting someone in wartime--not only is one guy off the field, but so are many more comrades, and the chilling effect will kill more and render others unable to shoot the right person at the right time.
So maybe this public affairs thing is useful: the guy running PRT Khowst in Afghanistan is getting some face time with the press along with the governor. Good.
A little more about this at my place.
Anyone who's ever worked with nuclear warheads knows all the controls that go into making sure they're in the right place at the right time. Well, it turns out that there are still ways to screw the pooch that you'd never think of. From Military Times:
A B-52 bomber mistakenly loaded with five nuclear warheads flew from Minot Air Force Base, N.D, to Barksdale Air Force Base, La., on Aug. 30, resulting in an Air Force-wide investigation, according to three officers who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to discuss the incident.
The B-52 was loaded with Advanced Cruise Missiles, part of a Defense Department effort to decommission 400 of the ACMs. But the nuclear warheads should have been removed at Minot before being transported to Barksdale, the officers said. The missiles were mounted onto the pylons of the bomber’s wings.
Advanced Cruise Missiles carry a W80-1 warhead with a yield of 5 to 150 kilotons and are specifically designed for delivery by B-52 strategic bombers.
Air Force spokesman Lt. Col. Ed Thomas said the transfer was safely conducted and the weapons were in Air Force custody and control at all times.
However, the mistake was not discovered until the B-52 landed at Barskdale, which left the warheads unaccounted for during the approximately 3 1/2 hour flight between the two bases, the officers said.
The Fourth Rail has officially moved to The Long War Journal, Public Multimedia.
Public Multimedia Inc. (PMI) is a nonprofit media organization whose mission is to provide original and accurate reporting and analysis of The Long War (also known as the Global War on Terror). This is accomplished through its programs of embedded reporters, news and news aggregation, podcasts, and other multimedia formats. you can support this organization thru here
Badgers Forward has a great slide show with lots of photos of Team Badger Soldiers.
"The die-in will be led by an Honor Guard of Iraq Veterans Against the War who will simulate a 21-Gun Salute before taps is played to initiate the die-in."
Well, my oh my, isn't this the same group of douchebags who just last month were accusing those same troops of committing atrocities in Iraq?
The answer, my friends, is blowin' in the wind.
Where's Army Lawyer when you need him.
I'd like to know when will the bill pass into federal law There's been no action since, that I can find. Let's get this ball rolling.
While we're at it can we put this blood sucking site out of business. They believe they're above the law.
Selling these three shirts is illegal in five states and may soon be illegal nationwide. With your support, we will continue to sell these shirts in all 50 states until the troops come home or they throw us in jail, whichever comes first.
UPDATE: Thanks Jacki (email)
Guess the law does not mean much is Arizona
Further, U.S. District Judge Neil V. Wake said the law's ban on advertising items with dead soldiers' names may not apply to Frazier because individual names can't be discerned on photos of shirts displayed on his online Web page.
One flaw I see in this law is this line:
2. The use of a soldier's name, portrait or picture for noncommercial purposes, including any news, public affairs or sports broadcast or account.
This is ridicules. That would ban all news reports of death, notes of heroism, tributes. This line should be removed.
Correction: (I need glasses) There's a small line hidden in the text that states: "C. This section does not apply to the following:" ...so line 2. is good , Thanks for pointing out my oversite SM.
Gold Star families shouldn't have to deal with this.
Meanwhile, a motley crew of antiwar groups, including Iraq Veterans Against The War, CODEPINK, ANSWER, and MoveOn.org, are organizing a week of demonstrations in Washington beginning September 15. The "mobilization" will be kicked off with a "Die-In," sponsored primarily by ANSWER and Iraq Veterans Against the War (IVAW). As they explain, "IVAW is asking that participants in the Die-In/Funeral select the name of one of the almost 4,000 soldiers who have been killed in Iraq. You can select a family member, friend or someone from your city, town or state. Please bring a photograph of that person and a sign with his/her name on September 15." Needless to say, the protesters who will be appropriating the names of soldiers and Marines killed in action have no intention of asking the permission of their families. But why should the families think their loved ones' sacrifices are being exploited in an unbelievably offensive way? After all, as one organizer explains, "The die-in will be led by an Honor Guard of Iraq Veterans Against the War who will simulate a 21-Gun Salute before taps is played to initiate the die-in."
There are no words.
I just went to my wife and said: "Look, it's going to be a while before I can get deployed, but when I do, and if I don't come back, and one of these [expletive deleted] tries to do something like this connected with my name, please use some money from my death benefit to make these people uncomfortable and unpleasant. More than once."
Update: Oh yeah. Check this out. Remember that one guy who got all up in a SGT's grill about being in uniform? I wonder how huffy he'll get at this:
IVAW will be leading the next big march in Washington being organized by the ANSWER Coalition. The event will start September 15th at noon with a rally at Lafayette Park in front of the White House with a rally. After the rally, we will march to the Capitol with an IVAW honor guard simulating a 21-gun salute to initiate a mass die-in. We will have up to 3800 veterans surrounding us in uniform simulating the American cost of this war, and invite all civilian participants to die-in around us to simulate the Iraqi casualties. If you are planning to come to DC for any part of the rally and week of direct action, please call me (505) 470-1917 or email me email@example.com so I can compile a comprehensive list. I can also help you find lodging and answer other questions you may have.
You stay classy, IVAW.
Just listen to the HOORAHS.
A great comment at LGF which highlights something different than other Presidents:
How many times did Roosevelt visit the front lines in WWII?
How many times did Wilson visit troops in the trenches in the Ardennes?
How many times did Johnson go to Vietnam?
How many times did Clinton go to Bosnia?
How many times has Bush visited the troops in Iraq?
On September 2, sixty three years ago, this submarine got involved in the lives of two Presidents of the United States, not to mention many other lives.
As set out here.
We have been fighting in Iraq and Afghanistan for a few years (6 to be precise) although others have been at war with us for far longer... So the Army upped its bonus to attract candidates to their branch... $20,000 if they would agree to go to training sooner rather than later. It worked.
According to this story
Since the bonus was unveiled in July, more than 6,200 recruits have signed up to begin basic training before Oct. 1, a move that boosts end-of-fiscal year recruiting numbers, Army officials said.
Like my sons, there is a class of our young citizenry that knows the risks and choose to serve anyway. They enlist and re-enlist not because we are at war, but in spite of it.
Despite the possibility of being sent to fight in Iraq and Afghanistan, those opting for the Army bonus seem to have already made up their minds to join the military -- they just haven't settled on which branch to join, Feltner said.
Of course, the AP can't help themselves with such backhanded comments as
Bored with life on his family's South Carolina horse farm...
"People are calling here saying $20,000 is more than they've made in the past two years,"
The Army's offer stands out to many in a state where the unemployment level is fourth highest in the country, at 5.9 percent in July, up from 5.5 percent in June. It was 6.2 percent in July a year ago.
On the other hand, in addition to noting that these young men and women would have joined anyway (it's not about the money) they (Surprise!) also actually left in the article complimentary points:
Sgt. John Tate, another recruiter in the Lexington office, said the Army's job options, not just the bonuses, play a big role in recruiting.
And perhaps in answer to that senator and his advice to stay in school so you're not stuck somewhere, there's this
Plus, the bonus comes on top of other benefits, such college tuition assistance, and medical and dental care.
"There's not a job out there that they can enter with zero experience, that will help them pay for college," Feltner said.
Alas, no mention of patriotism or love of country, sense of duty... (sigh). Might have been asking too much of the AP.
I do love the big finish:
One female recruit who signed up recently opted to become a paralegal with a subspecialty in airborne parachutist training.
"She wanted to jump out of planes, but she also wanted inside, office work," Tate said.
That's what I call having your cake... [You go, girl!!]
Something there is among certain elements of the left that gets weak kneed at the notion of Bu$hitler's legions of myrmidons finally coming to their senses and Flipping On The Man. It serves to explain how the New Republic fell for the Scott Thomas Beauchamp diaries, and perhaps explains the tone of breathless, schoolyard tattletaling in this dKos diary entry. Whoever the diarist's correspondent is, s/he clearly knows a bit of the inside lingo but still manages to get details glaringly wrong in a way that coincidentally serves to reinforce the Kossack's prejudices, garnering over a thousand comments when I first looked in this morning.
It's not that there's any one thing wrong in the post, which purports to tell the inside story of an upcoming US naval attack on Iran, but rather the accumulation of many, many little things that aren't quite right.
What? You guys would rather talk about serious meeeelitary stuff? Pffffff.
I'll take a Peter Gabriel with a gorilla on sticks over anything you jokers can throw at me. Go ahead, try and top it.
Hotel Tango: Hot Air
Can someone tell me when Iraq wasn't a 'third world country'?
It was 30 years ago...I can't imagine that with an 8 year war with Iran..Gulf War I...12 years of sanctions...and OIF it improved much, but then...no one pays me millions to report the "news".
This might be the single most ignorant thing I've ever seen spoken or written about Baghdad:
"The city looks like a third world country."
Before reading that gem I would have voted for Katie's expression of disappointment in discovering the city isn't completely devastated: "It was difficult to see much from the air ... though I did see the Tigris River. The scope of the destruction can better be taken in at ground level."
Uhhh, no. The scope of destruction would be better determined from the air. Minor damage would be better seen at ground level.
Odd to see her 2-years out of date talk about Route Irish - but that's not the first time CBS has tried to foist that one on Americans.
By the way, NEWS FLASH: EVERYTHING IS CLOSED ON FRIDAYS.
On Tuesday, September 11th, 2007, an American flag should be displayed outside every home, apartment, office, and store in the United States. Every individual should make it their duty to display an American flag on this anniversary of our country's worst tragedy. We do this in honor of those who lost their lives on 9/11, their families, friends and loved ones who continue to endure the pain, and those who today are fighting at home and abroad to preserve our cherished freedoms.
In the days, weeks and months following 9/11, our country was bathed in American flags as citizens mourned the incredible losses and stood shoulder-to-shoulder against terrorism. Sadly, those flags have all but disappeared. Our patriotism pulled us through some tough times and it shouldn't take another attack to galvanize us in solidarity. Our American flag is the fabric of our country and together we can prevail over terrorism of all kinds.
Some of you may know that I was an unwilling witness to the events of 9/11 and it forever changed my life, my perspective and the lives and actions of the members of my family. The war on terrorism is very personal in my world.
So, here's how you can help: (1) Spread the word, and then (2) Fly an American flag of any size on 9/11 (but the bigger, the better!)
For many of you reading this, I know I don't have to remind you how you felt on 9/11 -- those sentiments guide you daily -- but if you haven't thought about 9/11 in any meaningful way since then, I urge you to remember how you felt that day and the days that followed.
We fly the flag year-round at our house, but if you don't, then please make it a priority on this day.
God Bless America.
x-posted at Some Soldier's Mom
I'm late in getting this up.
Yesterday was the 90th Birthday of the 3rd Infantry Division.
I've become quite familiar with this division lately, and have heard the Dog Face Soldier Song many times.
Happy Birthday to the 3rd ID
Geez, can't a guy just be a smartass anymore?
My favorite story of "combat" Airmen is the deployed security forces troops who drive around the Green Zone issuing speeding tickets.